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Orbit of asteroid 1998 QE2

Solar System

Biggish Asteroid 1998 QE2 Pays Earth a Visit

This week's visit by asteroid 1998 QE2 is just a courtesy call, as it passes by on May 31st at 15 times the Moon's distance. A NASA radar team has already discovered that this big space rock has a sizable companion.

Celestial News & Events

Australia's Ring of Fire Eclipse

For the second time in six months, the Sun has graced Down Under with an eclipse. Only a lucky few caught this annular eclipse, which traversed sparsely populated northern Australia.

Celestial News & Events

The Eclipses of May 2013

May 2013 features an annular solar eclipse that's visible from extraordinarily little land area and a penumbral lunar eclipse that isn't visible at all.

Celestial News & Events

April 25th's Partial Lunar Eclipse

Truly dedicated eclipse-watchers — who live in the Eastern Hemisphere — have a chance to watch the Moon barely graze Earth's umbra during the first eclipse of 2013.

Celestial News & Events

This Weekend's Twilight Sky Gathering

The Moon, Jupiter, Aldebaran, and two naked-eye star clusters adorn the western twilight this weekend, April 12–14. Spread the word, and grab your camera.

Celestial News & Events

Celebrate the Night — This Week, This Month

Anytime is a good time for a star party, but April offers some of the best opportunities to get out under the night's beauty. Take your pick: there's Globe at Night, International Dark-Sky Week, Astronomy Day, and Global Astronomy Month.

Celestial News & Events

March 28th's Celestial Sandwich

If you're up in late evening on Thursday, March 28th, check out the brilliant, nearly full Moon and its two lovely attendants: the ringed planet Saturn and the icy-white star Spica.

Celestial News & Events

The Moon Salutes Jupiter

On the evening of Sunday, March 17th, stargazers all across the Americas will be able to watch the Moon pass spectacularly close to Jupiter, the third brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.

Celestial News & Events

Asteroid 2012 DA14 to Zip Past Earth

On February 15th, a 150-foot-wide rock will make the closest pass by Earth of any asteroid predicted far in advance. You may be able to follow it in a telescope.

Mercury and Mars, February 2013

Celestial News & Events

Mercury in February 2013

Mercury has a fine evening apparition in February 2013, featuring an extraordinarily close conjunction with Mars.

Celestial News & Events

Mercury Meets Mars

Mercury and Mars, the two smallest planets, appear spectacularly close to each other shortly after sunset on Thursday and Friday, February 7th and 8th.

Celestial News & Events

Jupiter Dances with the Moon

On the night of Monday, January 21, 2013. Jupiter, the second-brightest planet, appears less than a finger-width from the Moon as seen from North America. And in much of South America, the Moon passes in front of Jupiter, hiding it from view.

Celestial News & Events

Watch the Moon Pass Mars

A beautiful crescent Moon passes Mars shortly after sunset this weekend. But make sure you find the right spot to skygaze, or you might not see it.

Celestial News & Events

Follow the Morning Moon

The Moon is the great highlight of the early morning sky this week, as it heads for a spectacular rendezvous with Venus at dawn on Thursday, January 10th.

Radiant of the Quadrantid meteors

Celestial News & Events

Catch the Quadrantids in Moonlight

Undeniably one of the year's best, the Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on the morning of Thursday, January 3rd. The best viewing opportunity comes between 1 a.m. and dawn, but you'll have competition from a waning gibbous Moon.

Celestial News & Events

See Ceres at Its Best for 2012

Ceres, the biggest asteroid and brightest dwarf planet,shines at magnitude 6.9 or brighter from December 12-25.

Celestial News & Events

“Sky-Is-Falling” Asteroid Flies By

The Earth-crossing asteroid 4179 Toutatis is making one of its close flybys, gliding among the stars and awaiting your telescope. Its magnitude will be 10.9 to 10.5 from December 11th through 14th.

Celestial News & Events

The 2012 Leonid Meteor Shower

The annual Leonids should peak early Saturday morning. While they probably won't make a big impression this year, an absent Moon and the possibility of a second meteor peak next week raise the cool factor.

Celestial News & Events

Not in Australia? Watch Today's Eclipse Online

Watch today's total solar eclipse even if you haven't traveled Down Under. At 3:35 p.m. EST, the Moonwill cover the Sun for a maximum of 4 minutes and 2 seconds. Two sites will let you see the spectacle live online.

Celestial News & Events

October Meteors Slow and Fast

As Earth wheels through the October portion of its orbit around the Sun, it passes through two reliable annual meteoroid streams: one fast, one slow, both long-lasting.

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