July's a busy month for skywatching. Not only are five bright planets in view, but three comets and a newly-discovered nova are also observable. And it all starts with a bang on Independence Day.
Betelgeuse, the brilliant red star at the right shoulder of Orion, is a supergiant whose girth extends out to the orbit of Jupiter.
Time travel is one of the best things about astronomy. Check out two websites that give skywatchers a more visceral sense of stellar distances and how constellations change shape across the sweep of time.
Meet the brightest stars near Earth. Next up: Polaris, the North Star, the star within a degree of the north celestial pole.
Meet the stars near Earth, starting with the brightest: Sirius, the "Dog Star."
Wondering what to read next? Looking for a gift for the amateur astronomer in your life? Check out these new astronomy books!
Native American tribes each had their own full Moon names — we introduce the most commonly used ones and the traditions behind them.
Enrich the eclipse experience — especially the long, partial phases — with solar eclipse activities for kids and families.
Learn some of the classic stargazing sights that can be best viewed through a smaller telescope.
How do you find out what stars are visible tonight? With a planisphere or "star wheel." It's easy!
Here's what you need to know to navigate the heavens with a telescope and star atlas.
Here's a great free download that uses a deck of playing cards to introduce you to the night's sky's constellations in a fun, entertaining way.
Maybe this gift-giving season you got a shiny new telescope to call your own. Congratulations — you could be on your way to discovering many amazing far things in the night sky. Although most of them are so far and faint that just finding and detecting them is the challenge! Whether your new scope is…
El 21 de Agosto del 2017 va a ser la primera vez que los Americanos podrán ver un eclipse total de Sol desde 1949. Un espectáculo tan grandioso obtendrá mucha atención, pero también atrae mucha planificación necesaria.
Our Constellation Basics webinar provides background information about the major winter constellations. Here are some accompanying online resources.
Asterisms appeal to our playful side but also serve as key waypoints in the sky for identifying fainter stars and constellations.
Ordinary binoculars are your ideal "first telescope." And they're so versatile that even seasoned stargazers find them indispensable.
Most of us are familiar with the Seven Sisters, but have you met their brothers? Learn how to find more Pleiades than first meet the eye.
October's a perfect time to see the zodiacal light, a tapering tower of comet dust standing high in the eastern sky before dawn. Here's how to find it.
Ten thousand stars bedazzle the eye on a dark night. Wait, how many?
With a subtle beauty all its own, the earthshine we see glowing in the lunar night invites us to consider Earth's many connections to the Moon.
They come in a wide range of apertures. But for astronomy, large aperture is only part of the story. High magnification is just as important when binoculars are used on a night sky that's not absolutely dark.
Channel your inner superpower by looking up at the night sky precisely when a dazzling blaze of light is beamed to Earth from outer space.
Toddlers can gain a great deal from star parties, more than we might think possible. Here are some further resources for engaging youngsters at your next event.
Watch S&T senior editor Alan MacRobert show and explain how to use star charts and planispheres (star wheels).