Observing

The sky is always changing. Planets dance in the evening, stars explode as supernovae, and new comets grace dawn skies. Here we bring together all the astronomy tips and resources you’ll need to observe the glories that light up the heavens.

Sky at a Glance – Our most popular column. Find out what’s up in the sky tonight!
Sky Tour Podcasts – Discover your night sky in a guided monthly tour led by J. Kelly Beatty
Interactive Observing Tools – Plan your observing tonight with our sky chart and other tools
Celestial Objects to Observe – A treasure chest of observing advice categorized by object type
Astronomy and Stargazing Projects – Find blueprints for observing projects

Just Saying Hello

See a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid From Your Backyard

Get ready for 2014 JO25, the biggest asteroid to fly this close to Earth since 2004. Good news — even a 3-inch telescope will show it! Update: See below for a radar image and animation of 2014 JO25 captured by NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar on April 18, 2017. Every week, a handful of new Earth-approaching asteroids…

Curlicue Madness

Jupiter Close, Bright, and Up All Night

It's easy to like Jupiter. No other planet offers such a bounty of amazing sights through the telescope, especially this week when it reaches opposition.  On April 7th, the largest planet in the solar system will rise at sunset and shine all night. That's the date Jupiter lines up behind the Earth in opposition. The…

Bright Supernova Erupts in NGC 5643 in Lupus

A recently discovered supernova in Lupus now shines around magnitude +11.5, bright enough to see in a modest telescope. With photos and maps, we'll get you there. I wished I lived in Georgia and not just for the peach trees and warmer weather. No, I'd be able to get up early tomorrow morning to marvel at…