Celestial Events

Geminid meteor

An Alpha Leonid Meteor Watch?

Few meteor showers are a cascade of shooting stars. Sky & Telescope contributing editor David H. Levy explains that there's simple pleasure in paying attention to sparser showers.

September evening sky

Astronomy Day, Redux

For the second time this year, skywatchers the world over are celebrating Astronomy Day. If the sky is clear this weekend, you'll be treated to a bounty of late-summer stars and planets.

Simulation of Venus's occulation

August 13th’s Occultation of Venus

If you're up for a bit of a challenge, drag out your telescope to watch a thin crescent Moon glide over brilliant Venus. This cover-up is a daylight event in the U.S., but it occurs in dark skies before dawn on the 14th for lucky observers in Japan.

Solar-wind prediction for Jan. 9, 2014

Auroras in Our Future?

UPDATE: No significant auroras were reported Thursday morning following the Sun's whopper coronal mass ejection on January 7th. But there's still some chance of a mid-latitude light show as the hours go by.

Best Mercury of 2011

Mercury's best evening apparition of 2011 for Northern Hemisphere observers takes place this March. And with Jupiter to point the way, Mercury is unusually easy to locate from March 12–18.

Impact flash on Jupiter

Bright Fireball Spotted Near Jupiter

Amateur astronomers have spotted a brief flare of light on Jupiter, the third such explosion in as many years. The impactor was too small to penetrate deeply enough into the Jovian upper atmosphere, and no impact "scar" has been seen.

Supernova 2013ej in M74

Bright supernova in M74

An exploding star in the galaxy M74 in Pisces, discovered on July 25th, peaked at magnitude 12.5 in mid-August and was still V magnitude 13.2 as of September 5th.

Catch Mercury at Its Best

Mercury is normally elusive, but it's putting on an extraordinarily good evening show for observers at mid-northern latitudes from late April through mid-May 2008.