Observing

The night sky is always changing. Observers watch planets dance in the evening, stars explode as supernovae, and new comets grace dawn skies. Here we bring together all the stargazing tips and resources you’ll need to see the glories that light up the heavens. Our Sky at a Glance column guides you to the best celestial sights of the week, our astronomy podcast provides a monthly audio tour, and our interactive tools and guides are useful resources to aid your observing at any time.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, July 21– 29

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

Let’s Find Pluto!

At opposition this week and as bright as it will be for the next 190 years, it's time to find your way to Pluto, a frigid enigma at the edge of night.

Binocular Highlight: The Serpent’s Fang

Like a lot of stargazers, I often go observing to escape the hassles of life. Serpens Caput, the head of the celestial snake, is a pretty good getaway spot, with a variety of things to see and do. I like to start with the wide not-quite-a-triangle formed by Beta (β), Gamma (γ), Iota (ι), and…

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, May 26 – June 3

  Friday, May 26 • While twilight is still bright, can you catch the thin crescent Moon just above the west-northwest horizon? The Moon is only about 1¼ days old as seen at the time of dusk for North America (because new Moon was at 3:44 p.m. EDT yesterday the 25th). And, how about little…