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Winter constellations seen in a class 4 or 5 sky

Save Dark Skies

Gauging Light Pollution: The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale

Excellent? Typical? Urban? Use this nine-step scale to rate the sky conditions at any observing site.

Sun through hydrogen-alpha filter

Celestial Objects to Observe

Observing the Sun Safely: Sunspots, Faculae, and Flares

The surface of the Sun is a dynamic, living place that can change unpredictably from day to day.

urban observer

Deep Sky

Observing Secrets of Deep-Sky Objects Revealed

Here's how to hone your galaxy-hunting skills — and what to expect at the eyepiece.


Stargazing Basics

8 Backyard Observatory Mistakes to Avoid

Here are a few potential problems that you might not see on your blueprints.