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Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

Useful Projects for a Lunar Eclipse

Here's all you need to know to help us measure the size of Earth's shadow during the total lunar eclipse on Jan. 20–21, 2019.

Celestial Objects to Observe

What is a Supermoon? Facts vs. Fiction

The perpetuation of the supermoon myth is mostly motivated by desire for publicity. But much of what we call the supermoon is just our eyes playing tricks on us.

Image of red Moon during lunar eclipse April 15, 2014

Celestial News & Events

Wake Up to a Total Lunar Eclipse on October 8, 2014

Start your day with an eclipse of the full Moon! On the morning of October 8, 2014, a total lunar eclipse will be visible across most of North America.

Lunar eclipse, multiple exposure

Celestial News & Events

April's Total Eclipse of the Moon

North Americans haven't seen a total eclipse of the Moon since 2011. But this long dry spell breaks late on the night of April 14–15 as the Moon makes a leisurely pass through Earth's deepest shadow.

Mars with strange weather

Celestial News & Events

Brightest Mars in Six Years

Mars is making its nearest and brightest appearance in the night sky since the end of 2007.

Clouds along the occultation path

Celestial News & Events

Global "Fail" for the Big Regulus Cover-up

There was widespread hope that thousands of skywatchers would see the bright star Regulus briefly occulted by an asteroid early on March 20th. In the end, likely <u>no one</u> saw it. Here's why.

Moon and Venus on February 26th

Celestial News & Events

Moon and Venus Dance at Dawn

If your dawn sky is clear on Wednesday, February 26th, don't miss the lovely pairing of brilliant Venus with a very thin crescent Moon.

Celestial News & Events

Supernova in M82 Passes Its Peak

Supernova 2014J, in the galaxy M82 in Ursa Major, peaked at magnitude 10.5 in early February and is now down to 11.2. Spot it with your telescope above the Big Dipper.

Celestial News & Events

Mercury's Best Show of 2014

Mercury puts on its best show of the year for mid-northern latitudes around the end of January.

Celestial News & Events

Auroras in Our Future?

UPDATE: No significant auroras were reported Thursday morning following the Sun's whopper coronal mass ejection on January 7th. But there's still some chance of a mid-latitude light show as the hours go by.

Celestial News & Events

Huge Sunspot Group Now Observable

The Sun is off to a fast start this new year. An enormous sunspot group, big enough to be seen (carefully) by eye, has rotated into view.

Celestial News & Events

Try Spotting Your Record-Thin Moon

Soon after sunset on New Year's Day, you may have a chance to set your lifetime youngest-Moon record.

Celestial News & Events

Quadrantid Meteors Ring in 2014

Start the new year right by viewing an excellent but short-lived meteor shower, called the Quadrantids, which peaks on Friday, January 3rd.

Celestial News & Events

An Outburst of Andromedid Meteors

Astronomers report that a nearly forgotten meteor shower — famous for its prodigious "storm" in 1872 but long since inactive — has displayed surprising activity.

Meteor

Celestial News & Events

Geminid Meteors to Pierce the Moonlight

Bits of rock from a fried asteroid flash across the night sky in the mid-December sky — but bright moonlight will diminish the performance.

Comet Lovejoy on November 30th

Celestial News & Events

Lovely Comet Lovejoy

Comet ISON has come and gone, but lovely Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) is still going strong. It is now at or near peak brightness, and well placed in the Northern Hemisphere's predawn sky.

Celestial News & Events

Naked-Eye Nova in Centaurus

A new star near Alpha and Beta Centauri peaked at about magnitude 3.6 on December 5th, faded, re-peaked ten days later, and has been bumping around oddly since.

Celestial News & Events

So It Ends for Comet ISON

After more than a year of anticipation, there is no dazzle, only a dud.

Comet ISON movie

Solar System

Comet ISON Becomes a Nail-Biter

Is the comet dying, just three days before its closest pass by the Sun? There are signs that its nucleus has stopped producing anything.

Blocking the Sun

Celestial News & Events

Can You Spot Comet ISON at Perihelion?

It won't be easy by a long shot, but it just might be possible to spot the comet in broad daylight as it passes nearest the Sun.

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