Like "catching some rays"? This weekend's Blue Moon invites us to explore the beauty and dazzle of crater rays, the tracks left by powerful impacts in the not-so-distant past.
In search of a pitch black night? Don't expect to find it on Earth. Thanks to starlight, zodiacal light, and especially airglow, true darkness doesn't exist.
One of the smallest constellations in the sky hosts one of the richest concentrations of dark nebulae. Join me for a dip in these dark pools from which the next generation of stars will be born.
Comet C/2014 Q1 PanSTARRS has been skirting the northern horizon since mid-June. Now it's ready to dip Down Under, where it may be visible with the naked eye in evening twilight.
July nights bring the green flicker of fireflies and a question — are there any green stars we can see in our telescopes? The answer may surprise you.
It's no myth. Icarus makes a rare flyby of Earth this week. Here's how to see it in your telescope and live online.
Cobwebs of cosmic dust limit how far we can see into the Milky Way's hub, but Baade's Window offers a rare glimpse into the stellar riches that await us there.
Stars may appear static, but they're on the move. Put these two speed demons on your observing list this summer. When you return in a year or two, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
With Arcturus as our touchstone, we set off in a virtual time machine to visit the sky of the distant future. Bright orange Arcturus twinkles high in the southeastern sky at dusk this week. Its slow climb from the northeastern horizon every March heralds the arrival of spring. Earth's revolution around the Sun ensures that Arcturus follows...
Saturn reaches opposition this week, offering the best view of it we've had in years. This guide will help you explore the ringed planet's many charms. "That doesn't look real." "I've never seen anything like it." "Wowwwww ...!" Sound familiar? Then you must have shown somebody Saturn through a telescope. Or maybe one of those describes your...
Keep your eye on the prize in the western sky. Venus sets exceptionally late this month, presenting skywatchers with several unusual observing opportunities. This season's apparition of Venus has been a happy one for northern hemisphere skywatchers as the planet continues to part from the Sun and increase in brightness. In May, Venus stands high in Gemini, an...
Chips of Pallas grace meteorite collections around the world. See where they all came from when the asteroid reaches opposition this spring.
Too tired to bring the scope out? Stuck looking at the same dozen deep sky objects? Here are a few ways to get that observing fire back in your belly.
Walk in the astronauts' footsteps as you explore the places they visited in the heyday of Apollo program. Use these helpful maps to start you on your way.
Participate in a world-wide campaign to observe and photograph Comet 67P/C-G as it approaches and recedes from the Sun with Rosetta in tow. Your observations matter.
Jupiter's four brightest moons continue to eclipse and occult one another, but time is running out. Only a few easy-to-see events remain between now and the end of the mutual events season.
There's much to take in during Saturday morning's total lunar eclipse, including a rare Moon-galaxy pairing, the splendid summer Milky Way, and a chance to see your shadow reach all the way to the Moon.
You might be tempted to pass up this familiar star for more exotic quarry, but take another look at a multiple star with a most interesting history.
"One Ring to rule them all." Join me as we explore a unique class of galaxies forged in the chaos of collision.
Still bright and easier than ever to find, Comet Lovejoy continues to delight skywatchers. Watch as it cuts through Cassiopeia this week. Comet Lovejoy, now a long-time visitor to our night sky, lies poised at the limit of naked eye visibility. Hovering around magnitude 5.8, the comet looks like a faint star from a dark sky,...
How Comet D1 SOHO survived a near-death experience long enough to haunt the evening sky — with maps to help you find it before it vanishes into the night.
With the Moon riding high this week, what better time to look for its three best-known yet enigmatic "ring" craters? We welcome back the waxing Moon this week. It's a chance for many of us to put dark-sky targets on the back burner and give some love to she who lights the night. During fall, the evening...
Keeping a record of what you see in the telescope is not only fun but helps grow your observing skills. Learn how to start a journal and see how other amateurs keep theirs. Do you write down what you saw after a session at the telescope? I've been doing it since I was a kid....
Meteor showers like the Perseids get all the press. But have you ever wondered where all the random meteors come from? We explore their origins. We've all seen them. The sporadics. Those random meteors that flash across the sky on any old clear night. If you were to make a lifelong tally of meteors,...
The ethereal zodiacal light returns to view this month. Learn how to see and photograph it with your digital camera.