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.

NGC 7331: Odd One Out

Can you spot September's Binocular Highlight from Mathew Wedel — spiral galaxy NGC 7331? Grab your binoculars and find a nice dark sky spot.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, September 22 – 30

  Friday, September 22 • Low in the west-southwest during twilight, spot the thin waxing crescent Moon. Can you see Jupiter to the lower right of it, by about 7°? (for North America.) • Equinox: Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring in the Southern Hemisphere, at 4:02 p.m. EDT. This is when the…

Showpiece Doubles

Point your telescope towards these doubles — true gems of the late-summer sky. You don’t even need dark skies or a big telescope to admire them!

Hickson Compact Groups

Contributing Editor Ted Forte offers a look at Hickson Compact Groups in the November 2017 issue of Sky & Telescope. In 1982, Canadian astronomer Paul Hickson published a list of 100 compact galaxy groups based on his examination of the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS) red plates. A compact group, as defined by Hickson, is…

Abell 194 Galaxy Cluster

Abell 194

Sky & Telescope Contributing Editor Ken Hewitt gives us a guided tour through Abell 194, a visually rich galaxy cluster in Cetus.