The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on the morning of Friday, January 4th, with the best viewing opportunity between 1 a.m. and dawn.
Undeniably one of the year's best, the Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on the morning of Thursday, January 3rd. The best viewing opportunity comes between 1 a.m. and dawn, but you'll have competition from a waning gibbous Moon.
Anytime is a good time for a star party, but April offers some of the best opportunities to get out under the night's beauty. Take your pick: there's Globe at Night, International Dark-Sky Week, Astronomy Day, and Global Astronomy Month.
Ceres, the largest main-belt asteroid, is well placed for observation in June through August 2010.
Backyard astronomers of all types and experience levels can participate in a real-world science project — and help solve a mystery involving the star Epsilon Aurigae that's puzzled astronomers since 1821.
Comet C/2007 W1 (Boattini) has reached 5th magnitude as of early June. It's now visible only from the Southern Hemisphere. When it reappears for northerners in July, will it be naked-eye?
It was going to be the celestial highlight of 2011. Now Comet Elenin appears to have broken into pieces just two weeks prior to its perihelion.
It was never going to be an "extinction-level" threat to Earth, but skygazers had hoped that Comet Elenin (C/2010 X1) would put on a decent show in October's predawn skies. In the end, however, it just went "poof".
A decently bright visitor from the solar system’s fringe has lingered in the evening sky for months. As it nears perihelion, Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1) will soon be seen better in northern morning skies before dawn.
Comet Garradd (C/2009 P1) was closest to Earth in early March. So the moonless period in mid-March is your best remaining chance to view this remarkable comet, which is now conveniently placed in the evening sky.
Astronomers predicted that Comet 168P/Hergenrother wouldn't get any brighter than 15th magnitude this month. But the comet had other ideas: an ongoing outburst has brightened it to within reach of medium-size backyard telescopes.
As of January 4th the comet, ever-enlarging and thinning, is still in naked-eye view but only if you have a fairly dark-sky site. Use binoculars to follow its next moves.
Is the comet dying, just three days before its closest pass by the Sun? There are signs that its nucleus has stopped producing anything.
Tiny, greenish white, and harder to see every day, Comet ISON is descending toward the sunrise horizon and its November 28th perihelion.
S&T senior editor Alan MacRobert tells you what you need to know to get ready for Comet ISON.
An unexpectedly bright comet is crossing a well-known part of the sky.
Its place in astronomical folklore already secure, having skirted very near the Sun and survived last week. But resilient Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) is still strutting its stuff — with twin tails nearly 20° long — in predawn skies for observers in the Southern Hemisphere. It's even drawing a crowd aboard the International Space Station!
Discovered in late November by a veteran Australian comet-hunter, C/2011 W3 is a kamikaze comet that will pass just 116,000 miles from the Sun on December 16th. Will it dazzle us as it falls inward? Will it survive its close brush with the Sun? Amateur astronomers worldwide are holding their collective breath!
The odds were stacked against it, but a comet discovered just two weeks ago has passed just 116,000 miles from the Sun's surface and — like a celestial phoenix — reemerged into view. Here's the latest on what veteran observer John Bortle calls "one of the most extraordinary events in cometary history."
The inbound comet C/2011 L4, discovered last year, has been brightening steadily the past few months. It could still fizzle — or it could become a pretty bauble in post-sunset skies next March.
Schoolchildren, families, and citizen scientists around the world will gaze skyward after dark from October 20th to November 3rd. The Great World Wide Star Count, now in its second year, helps scientists map light pollution globally while educating participants about the stars.
Keep an eye to the early-evening sky on Sunday, September 8th. You'll be rewarded with a stunning pairing of a thin crescent Moon next to dazzling Venus.
Don't miss the year's best-known meteor shower, predicted to peak on the night of August 12th.
Lucky skywatchers in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia will get to see a deep partial eclipse of the Sun on Tuesday.
The last total lunar eclipse for the next 2½ years was widely observed by skywatchers around the Pacific Rim.