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Aurora over Boston suburb

Celestial News & Events

Solar Flare Spawns More Aurora

For the second time in two nights, an explosion on the Sun triggered a widespread display of the northern lights, this time during the evening of October 30, 2003.

Occultations

Crescent Moon Occults Venus

On Sunday evening, October 26th, Venus disappears behind the crescent Moon for observers in South America and Hawaii.

Celestial News & Events

Mars: The Show Continues

Mars will remain a fiery yellow-orange beacon in the evening sky during the first half of September and will shrink and fade only a little until well into October.

Solar System

Another Martian Dust Storm

Less than one month after a localized dust storm appeared on the Martian surface, another dust cloud has spring up.

Planets

Mercury Transits the Sun

When this innermost planet passes between the Earth and the Sun on May 7th, it will appear as a tiny black "sunspot" in small telescopes.

Asteroid 2002NY40

Asteroids

Catch Hermes on the Fly

Since 1937, Hermes has made eight unseen flybys past Earth. In late October, the asteroid will be 13th magnitude — bright enough to be seen in scopes 10-inches and larger.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Upcoming Asteroid Occultation

S&T illustration. A few minutes before 5:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on December 24th, the 170-kilometer-wide minor planet 334 Chicago passes in front of the 8.5-magnitude star SAO97327 in Gemini. The nominal path for this event crosses Philadelphia (at about 9:57 Universal Time) and continues westward across Lake Michigan, just…

Planets

Jupiter's Moon Dances

Every six years, for a few months at a time, Jupiter's satellites engage in a wonderful variety of alignments. They're starting up again.

Planets

An Observer's Guide to Mars

In 2001 the red planet swung closer to Earth than it had since 1988. It'll be even better in 2003. Here's an observer's guide from the 2001 opposition to whet your appetite for 2003.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Mercury Transit Tales

Mostly clear skies in Europe, the Far East, and Australia meant that many amateurs were able to view this rare event.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Viewing Mercury at Its Best

Fast-moving Mercury can be elusive. But spotting this sparkling little planet is easy if you know where and when to look.

Solar System

Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in 2003

With our detailed charts, you'll be able to locate the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto the rest of the year.

Planets

Mars Glides Between Two Nebulae

During the predawn hours of March 5th and 6th, watch as Mars glides between a close pair of nebulae — the Lagoon (M8) and the Trifid (M20).

Celestial News & Events

Crescent Moon Joins Three Planets at Dawn

The waning crescent Moon helps point the way to Mars, Venus, and Mercury before sunrise on Monday through Wednesday mornings.

Celestial Objects to Observe

A Star Prepares to Blow Its Top

Easily found with the naked eye, 4th-magnitude Rho Cassiopeiae may be getting ready for an enormous mass ejection in the next few months.

Occultations

Saturn Transits the Crab

During the night of January 4–5, North American observers are well positioned to watch Saturn transit the face of M1, the Crab Nebula. But will the glare from the planet obscure the nebula?

Paths of Ceres and Melpomene

Celestial Objects to Observe

Ceres and Melpomene in Binoculars

With paths that crisscross in Cetus, the Whale, these two asteroids make fine observing targets for the rest of 2002.

Asteroid 2002 NY40

Celestial Objects to Observe

Asteroid Flyby Seen Worldwide

Last weekend's close encounter between Earth and asteroid 2002 NY40 was seen by amateur astronomers worldwide.

Path of 2002 NY40

Celestial News & Events

How to Watch Saturday's Asteroid Flyby

For help in locating asteroid 2002 NY40 on August 17–18, Sky & Telescope has prepared four (PDF) finder charts (see page 2). S&T: Roger Sinnott and Gregg Dinderman. On Saturday night, August 17–18, a recently discovered asteroid will pass close enough to Earth to be easily spotted in small telescopes…

Roy Tucker

Celestial Objects to Observe

Asteroid Hunters Receive Grants

Five amateur astronomers specializing in the observation and early detection of Earth-crossing asteroids and comets were each awarded Shoemaker Near-Earth Object Grants from the Planetary Society.

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