Romantic, mysterious, soothing, and radiant, moonlight has its own special qualities. We explore how we perceive the night under a bright Moon. A moonlit stroll is starkly different from a walk in the sunshine. Moonlight's dark, spooky quality contrasts with the clarity of sunlight. And while it may not grow hair on your face, we...
Find out what makes Sirius twinkle.
Add another dimension of viewing to winter's favorite deep sky object, the Great Nebula of Orion. The Orion Nebula is arguably the centerpiece of the winter sky. This bright, richly-detailed blossom of glowing gas and dust invites repeated observation. How many of us have pointed our telescope or binoculars in its direction five, six, or even ten...
Welcome back, Venus! Brightest planet in the sky returns just in time for the holidays. "There are so many stars shining in the sky, so many beautiful things winking at you, but when Venus comes out, all the others are waned ... Mehmet Murat ildan from the play Galileo Galilei (2001) I miss Venus. The brightest planet in...
Treasure hunting for carbon stars, the rubies of the night sky. Color can be tough to come by in the deep sky, especially if you own a small telescope. Planets serve up a medley of subtle hues, as do a few planetary and bright nebulae. Stars show tints of blue, yellow, and orange, but there's nothing quite like the color...
Fooled by shadow play into thinking lunar mountains were pointy pinnacles? Learn why we often see them that way.
The dark ways of Algol the Demon Star, and what it can teach us about stellar evolution.
There's more than one way to see the constellations. Here's a look through Native American eyes. Orion the Hunter is arguably one of the most recognizable constellations in the sky. Striding the celestial equator, he charges up from this eastern horizon around 9 o'clock in late November, club in one hand and shield in the...
Often ignored in off years, why not treat yourself to the Leonids this month, a shower famed for fireballs and smoke trails.
While we may never see a planet orbiting a star other than the sun that doesn't mean we can't go there in a flight of fancy.
Most of us are familiar with the Seven Sisters, but have you met their brothers? Learn how to find more Pleiades than first meet the eye.
October's a perfect time to see the zodiacal light, a tapering tower of comet dust standing high in the eastern sky before dawn. Here's how to find it.
Watch the International Space Station as it passes into the shadow of the Earth, and learn what other features to keep an eye out for (such as the "water dump").
Lonely Fomalhaut turns out to have plenty of company. Learn how to find its two remarkably distant stellar companions.
Learn exactly how and when to expect the next display of the northern lights with a few easy-to-use online tools.
Ten thousand stars bedazzle the eye on a dark night. Wait, how many?
Get acquainted with SS Cygni, the sky's brightest cataclysmic variable star. It's guaranteed to keep you on your toes.
Watch as the moon Rhea steals a star from the sky for nearly a minute on September 12th.
With a subtle beauty all its own, the earthshine we see glowing in the lunar night invites us to consider Earth's many connections to the Moon.
Seize the moment and bookend your next clear night with two fine telescopic comets: Jacques at dusk and Oukaimeden at dawn.
Here's your invitation to view a spectacular close conjunction of the sky's two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, before dawn on Monday morning.
You'll be entering uncharted territory when you seek out this little known 'Shadow of the Veil' in Cygnus this summer.
The next time you're out watching a sunset, turn around and relish the mighty shadow of Earth looming just behind your back.
Fascinating faculae provide a way for anyone with a small telescope to track the ups and downs of the solar cycle — even when there are no sunspots.
Channel your inner superpower by looking up at the night sky precisely when a dazzling blaze of light is beamed to Earth from outer space.