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.

Diamond of Three Rings

A total solar eclipse offers the most spectacular of jewels, the diamond ring, as the Moon blocks all but a small part of the Sun's brilliance.

A Compact, Lightweight Solar Projection Viewer

Learn how to make a travel-friendly solar projection viewer for your telescope — just in time for the eclipse! Each summer I have the privilege to run the Student Telescope Making Program at the Table Mountain Star Party (TMSP). Over the course of a few hours, students assemble telescopes and use them that night out…

Total Solar Eclipse: All-Sky Maps

Wondering what you'll see during the total solar eclipse on August 21st? Use our all-sky maps to figure it out! If you’ve never seen a total solar eclipse before, you might be wondering what to expect before and after the moment of totality. We’ve already published a detailed timeline to help you prepare for the…

Star Party Season

After a slog through this spring's wet and cloudy weather, it was a relief to hit the clear skies of summer. Most of my observing happens from my backyard, of course, but I always have one eye on my calendar, counting down the days to when I can start packing for my first summer star party.…

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