Astronomy is an outdoor nature hobby. For an easy constellation guide to the evening sky, use the map in the center of Sky & Telescope magazine.
Now that the Pleiades and Aldebaran are up in due east, can Orion be far behind? Orion's entire iconic figure, formed by its brightest seven stars, takes about an hour and a quarter to cross the horizon below them.
When Fomalhaut is due south, you'll always find the first stars of Orion beginning to rise in the east, and the Pointers of the Big Dipper due north below Polaris.
As twilight fades, look low in the southwest for Saturn and Mercury.
Vega is the brightest star in the west in early evening. Its little constellation Lyra extends to the left. Somewhat farther left is 3rd-magnitude Albireo, the beak of Cygnus.
The full Moon of November always rides very high in the middle of the night, almost as high as the full Moon of December.
The Moon occults two 1st-magnitude stars for much of North America just six days apart. The first event happens mostly in early-evening darkness, the second in broad daylight — an extra challenge for the adventurous.
Saturn, in southern Ophiuchus, glows low in the southwest at dusk this week. It's the only bright planet in evening view.
Look northeast in the starry sky these evenings. Capella shines low and brightest. Upper right of Capella, and upper left of the Pleiades, the stars of Perseus stand astride the Milky Way.
Want to become an amateur astronomer? First, learn your way around the constellations! They're the key to locating everything fainter and deeper to hunt with binoculars or a telescope.
R Aquarii may look like a normal pulsing red giant — but it has a lot more going on around it. Its next episode of weirdness may begin soon...
Want to become an amateur astronomer? Learn your way around the constellations! They're the key to locating everything fainter and deeper to hunt with binoculars or a telescope.
Sky at a Glance, Friday, September 29 -- As the stars come out in late twilight, look high above the Moon for Altair.
Friday, September 22 • Low in the west-southwest during twilight, spot the thin waxing crescent Moon. Can you see Jupiter to the lower right of it, by about 7°? (for North America.) • Equinox: Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring in the Southern Hemisphere, at 4:02 p.m. EDT. This is when the…
Saturn (magnitude +0.4, in Ophiuchus above Scorpius) glows in the south-southwest at dusk. Antares twinkles 13° to Saturn's lower right.
Mercury and Mars are passing each other very low in the glow of sunrise, well to the lower left of Venus. Regulus is also with them, as shown in sky scenes here.
The waxing gibbous Moon is appears equally distant from Saturn, well to its right, and Altair, high to its upper left.
Look low in the west in twilight for the waxing crescent Moon. It forms a triangle with Jupiter and Spica below it.
The Milky Way runs from Sagittarius in the south, up and left across Aquila and the Summer Triangle very high in the east, and down through Cassiopeia to Perseus low in the north-northeast.
Totality watchers get the best show, but a far greater number of people will be in partial eclipse territory. Here's how to make the most of it.
The Perseid meteor shower should be at its maximum late Friday and Saturday nights, August 11-12 and 12-13.
Saturn glows in the south at nightfall. Fiery Antares, less bright, twinkles 13° to Saturn's lower right.
The Sagittarius Teapot is in the south after darkness is complete.
Starry Scorpius is sometimes called "the Orion of Summer" for its brightness and its prominent red supergiant (Antares in the case of Scorpius, Betelgeuse for Orion). Catch Scorpius due south just after dark now. It's full of deep-sky objects for binoculars or a telescope
Mercury is having a poor apparition low in evening twilight this month. But it's bright enough (magnitude –0.2 this evening) that you can pick it up anyway if the air is good and clear.