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Night Sky Sights

Ceres and Vesta in 2011

The two brightest asteroids are in fine view for binoculars or a telescope. Here are instructions and charts to find them.

Celestial News & Events

So-So Prospects for Comet Elenin

Discovered in December, an inbound comet will reach perihelion in September and likely be a nice sight in binoculars — but barely visible, if at all, to the unaided eye.

Celestial News & Events

Mercury at Its Evening Highest

This week, Mercury reaches its highest in the evening sky for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.

Occultation of Mu Geminorum Sunday, March 13th

Celestial News & Events

Watch a Star Wink Out on Sunday

On Sunday, March 13th, not long after sunset, a 3rd-magnitude star will disappear suddenly as it's covered by the dark edge of the Moon for parts of eastern North America.

Celestial News & Events

Best Mercury of 2011

Mercury's best evening apparition of 2011 for Northern Hemisphere observers takes place this March. And with Jupiter to point the way, Mercury is unusually easy to locate from March 12–18.

Celestial News & Events

The Four-Planet Dance of 2011

Every morning in May 2011, just before sunrise, four planets combine to form fascinating and ever-changing patterns.

People, Places, and Events

Daydreaming About January 4th's Solar Eclipse

Lucky skywatchers in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia will get to see a deep partial eclipse of the Sun on Tuesday.

Cassini view of Saturn's storm

Celestial News & Events

Saturn's New Bright Storm

A massive new storm in the ringed planet's northern hemisphere is bright enough to see in small telescopes.

December's lunar eclipse

Celestial News & Events

Solstice Eclipse

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere was heralded by a glorious total lunar eclipse.

Finding the Geminid meteors' radiant

Celestial News & Events

It's Geminid Time!

What many skywatchers consider the year's richest and most reliable meteor shower peaks this year on the morning of December 14th.

Celestial News & Events

Revival on Jupiter Continues

The King of Planets was missing one of its signature dark belts last February, but it's gradually returning to view.

Celestial News & Events

Go Ahead: Observe the Moon

You can gawk, study, sketch, image, or just howl. No matter how you do it, head outside on September 18th to celebrate International Observe the Moon Night.

Celestial News & Events

Another Flash on Jupiter!

Japanese observer Masayuki Tachikawa appears to have captured another impact on Jupiter, the second one in the past three months.

Celestial News & Events

Solar activity is ramping up

Sunspot AR 1087 is crackling with activity, take a peek if you can!

Celestial News & Events

Ceres in 2010

Ceres, the largest main-belt asteroid, is well placed for observation in June through August 2010.

Jupiter's appearance in 2010

Celestial News & Events

Disappearing Act on Jupiter

One of the giant planet's signature bands, the South Equatorial Belt, began fading late last year. Now, for the first time since 1992, it's completely missing. Amateur and professional observers worldwide are eagerly hoping to witness its return.

Celestial News & Events

Mercury Takes the Spotlight

The normally elusive innermost planet has its best apparition of the year — with dazzling Venus to point the way!!

Celestial News & Events

The Sun is Back!

After a couple of relatively dormant years, the Sun is showing signs of major activity again.

Celestial News & Events

Zodiacal Light in the Evening

The zodiacal light is on its best display in the Northern Hemisphere on moonless evenings from February through April.

Night Sky Sights

Vesta in 2010

Vesta shines at magnitude 7 or brighter through mid-May 2010.

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