At the end of November and the beginning of December, the two brightest planets perform a dazzling dance in the evening twilight. On December 1st they're joined by the slender crescent Moon, which makes for a pretty trio in the Americas — and which will cover Venus in spectacular fashion for lucky skywatchers in Europe.
Schoolchildren, families, and citizen scientists around the world will gaze skyward after dark from October 20th to November 3rd. The Great World Wide Star Count, now in its second year, helps scientists map light pollution globally while educating participants about the stars.
The Red Planet travels through one of the biggest and brightest star clusters in the sky from May 21st to the 24th. As a warm-up, stargazers watched Mars pass a hair's-breadth north of 5th-magnitude Eta Cancri on the evening of May 19th in easternmost America and the morning of the 20th in western Europe.
Comet C/2007 W1 (Boattini) has reached 5th magnitude as of early June. It's now visible only from the Southern Hemisphere. When it reappears for northerners in July, will it be naked-eye?
It's extremely unusual for a star that's visible to the unaided eye to be momentarily blotted out by a chunk of rock flying through outer space. But that's what's going to happen early on the morning of Thursday, April 17th, over the most densely populated section of the United States.
Download this podcast to your MP3 player, and you'll be able to navigate the March evening sky like a seasoned stargazer. Find Mars, Saturn, Orion, the Twins of Gemini, and more! Host: S&T's Kelly Beatty. (6MB MP3 download: running time: 6m10s)