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People, Places, and Events

An Observing Mecca in the Sierras

Who would have thought that, just 30 miles from a California city of 500,000+, you'd find some of the best stargazing in all of North America?

Halpha sun with prominences

Sun

How to Look at the Sun Safely

Our star is an amazing object to observe, whether by eye or with optical aid. These time-tested tips will let you see the solar disk worry-free.

Celestial News & Events

The Ultimate New-Moon Sighting

A French astrophotographer used luck and some special gear to capture a razor-thin lunar crescent precisely at the moment of New Moon on July 8th.

Astronomy & Observing News

Tour Jupiter with Our Newest App

Jupiter reigns big and beautiful over December's sky. Now you can take our newest app with you as a guide to Jupiter's moons, Great Red Spot, and more.

Astronomy & Observing News

The Ultimate Mobile Guide to Saturn

Our new SaturnMoons app guides you around the ringed planet as it brightens in the night sky in advance of an April 28th opposition. Learn about Saturn's bizarre satellite family, then find the moons in your own scope.

Celestial News & Events

Make the Effort for "Globe at Night"

This week you can join a worldwide campaign to measure the darkness of night skies everywhere. It's a fun, easy, and worthwhile activity for you and your family.

Celestial News & Events

Great Sun This Week

This week the Sun is putting on its best show in nearly a decade.

Celestial News & Events

5,000 Megapixels of Sky

Seattle amateur Nick Risinger had an idea and some free time. One year and more than 37,000 images later, he's created an awesome panorama of the entire celestial sphere.

Celestial News & Events

Green Lasers: A Hidden Danger

They're compact, handy, and incredibly useful at star parties. But beware: a new study reveals that your bargain-priced green laser pointer might be emitting harmful amounts of infrared energy.

Clear Sky Chart

Stargazing Basics

Must-Have, Stargazing Forecast

Here are hyperlinks to many websites that can help you forecast the astronomical observing conditions for next few nights — or longer.

Stargazing with Tony Flanders

Chainsaw Astronomy

Cutting down trees to get a better view of the night sky can be a surprisingly emotional issue.

Stargazing with Tony Flanders

Is the U.S. Bright or Dark?

Depending how you present the data, light pollution in the U.S. may appear anywhere from quite severe to fairly modest.

Planets

Mercury, Messenger, and Observers

As the first images are released from Messenger's flyby of the innermost planet, previous ground-based observations are proving to be surprisingly accurate.

Stargazing with Tony Flanders

The Reliability of Visual Observing

It's easy to make honest mistakes when viewing astronomical objects that are faint or small.

Astronomy Online with Stuart Goldman

Scope Calculator Applet Added

Try out a new addition to our suite of interactive observing tools.

Stargazing with Tony Flanders

Microsaccades

An article in Scientific American suggests that training your eye to see faint objects may have a physiological basis.

Telescope Control

Equipment: Guides & Recommendations

Handy Controller

Even Harry Potter would enjoy this method of steering a scope.

Stargazing with Tony Flanders

Two Views of the North America Nebula

The North America Nebula in Cygnus is famously visible to the unaided eye under dark skies. But are we really seeing the nebulosity?

M31

Celestial Objects to Observe

111 Deep Sky Wonders for Light-Polluted Skies

Bright skies aren't empty skies. See for yourself how many treasures lie hidden in the glow of a city sky.

DIY: Astronomy Projects & Guidance

A Simple Home Observatory in Your Backyard

Size can be deceptive; this small home observatory is remarkably practical.

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