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

Dazzling and dizzying fast

Will We Still Recognize the Sky in 27,800 AD?

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...

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Splashy Saturn At Its Best and Brightest

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...

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Visit Venus in Its Darkest Hour

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...