This Week’s Sky At a Glance

Check out Sky & Telescope’s weekly observing update, Sky at a Glance, published every Friday. Not only do we provide simple sky maps and observing tips for the upcoming week, we also keep you up to date on the latest celestial events.

A winter article might focus on the dazzling Orion Nebula, where thousands of stars are forming in the cloud of gas and dust, only 1,300 light-years away. A spring article could guide you through the small patch of sky in the constellations Cygnus, Lyra, and Draco where the Kepler Space Telescope has found more than 1,000 exoplanets. And a summer article might be bombarded with meteors from the stunning Perseids, which grace us with their presence every August, while a fall article might highlight the lucky alignment of two planets in the evening sky.

No matter the week, take a look at Sky at a Glance to catch up on celestial current events.

This Week's Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, August 1 – 9

Friday, August 1 At dusk this evening, the Moon forms the lower-right end of a very long, curving line of celestial objects. Counting to the Moon's upper left, these are Spica, Mars, and Saturn, as shown here. Today is Lammas Day or Lughnasadh, one of the four traditional "cross-quarter" days midway between the solstices...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, July 25 – August 2

Friday, July 25 Mars and Spica shine in the southwest at nightfall. Mars keeps pulling farther away from Spica; they're now 6° apart. Saturn glows pale yellow to their upper left. Arcturus sparkles high to their upper right. Saturday, July 26 New Moon (exact at 6:42 p.m. EDT). Summer is hardly more than a...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, July 11 – 19

Friday, July 11 Mars and Spica form a striking pair in the southwestern sky at dusk! They're now just under 2° apart. On Sunday evening they'll be at their minimum separation, 1.3°. Watch them change day by day. Full Moon tonight and Saturday night (exactly full at 7:25 a.m. Saturday morning Eastern Daylight Time.)...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, July 4-12

Friday, July 4 Out to watch fireworks? As you're waiting for twilight to end, spot the Moon in the west-southwest with Mars and Spica off to its left, as shown for July 4 here. High above them all shines brighter Arcturus. Saturn is farther left (off the left edge of this illustration). Point them...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, June 27 – July 5

Friday, June 27 This is the time of year when, at the end of dusk, the dim Little Dipper floats straight upward from Polaris (the end of its handle) — like a helium balloon on a string, escaped from some summer evening party. Look due north. (Through light pollution, all that you may see...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, June 13 – 21

Friday, June 13 Vega is the brightest star shining in the east after dusk. It's currently the top star of the big Summer Triangle. The brightest star to Vega's lower left is Deneb. Look farther to Vega's lower right for Altair. The Summer Triangle will climb higher in early evening all through the summer,...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

Sky at a Glance, June 6 – 14

Friday, June 6 Look left of the Moon this evening for Mars, then Spica, as shown at right. With June under way, the Big Dipper is swinging around after dark to hang down by its handle high in the northwest. The middle star of its handle is Mizar, with tiny little Alcor right next...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

Sky at a Glance, May 23 – 31

Friday, May 23 Meteor Update Saturday morning: Well that was a dud! Meteor watchers all over North America who went out in the early morning hours for the new predicted Camelopardalid shower saw few if any. People indeed reported observing a handful of meteors from the new radiant, but just a few per hour....

This Week's Sky at a Glance

Sky at a Glance, May 16 – 24

Friday, May 16 Look for Mercury as twilight darkens. It's low in the west-northwest, far to the lower right of Jupiter and lower left of Capella. Mercury is having its highest showing of 2014 (for skywatchers at mid-northern latitudes). Saturday, May 17 Arcturus shines high in the southeast these nights. Vega shines much lower...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

Sky at a Glance, May 9 – 17

Friday, May 9 The waxing gibbous Moon in the evening sky forms a curving line with Mars to its left, and Spica to the lower left of Mars. Saturday, May 10 Bright Mars shines left of the Moon. Although they look rather close together, Mars is 260 times farther away — and twice as...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

Sky at a Glance, May 2 – 10

Friday, May 2 How soon after sunset can you see the first stars and planets coming out? The brightest this spring is Jupiter. Look for it high in the west, almost two fist-widths at arm's length above or upper left of the Moon this evening. Next brightest is Sirius, sinking in the southwest. Saturday,...

This Week's Sky at a Glance

Sky at a Glance, April 18-26

Friday, April 18 Jupiter shines right under the big Arch of Spring this year. The Arch spans much of the western sky. Pollux and Castor form its top (as seen from mid-northern latitudes). To their lower left is Procyon, one end of the Arch. Farther to their lower right is the other end: Menkalinen...