This is the web supplement to Howard Banich's article "The Determined Observer's Guide to M101," in the June 2013 issue of Sky & Telescope. In it, Banich describes observing M101 with his motorized 28-inch alt-azimuth Newtonian, preparing the sketch shown below at low resolution. M101 is extraordinarily rich in active star-forming regions, 10 of which…
A remarkable series of events takes place low in the west-northwest shortly after sunset from late May to late June. It features the tightest three-planet grouping visible without binoculars until 2026 and an excellent apparition of Mercury.
Uranus and Neptune are easy to find with the aid of the charts in this article.
Mercury and Mars, the two smallest planets, appear spectacularly close to each other shortly after sunset on Thursday and Friday, February 7th and 8th.
Mercury has a fine evening apparition in February 2013, featuring an extraordinarily close conjunction with Mars.
The zodiacal light shows very well from dark locations at mid-northern latitudes starting about 80 minutes after sunset on moonless evenings from late January to early April.
On the night of Monday, January 21, 2013. Jupiter, the second-brightest planet, appears less than a finger-width from the Moon as seen from North America. And in much of South America, the Moon passes in front of Jupiter, hiding it from view.
Spectacular Saturn is a perennial favorite of telescope users everywhere. Click here to find printable data on the positions of Saturn's rings and planets.
The Moon is the great highlight of the early morning sky this week, as it heads for a spectacular rendezvous with Venus at dawn on Thursday, January 10th.
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.
Ceres, the biggest asteroid and brightest dwarf planet,shines at magnitude 6.9 or brighter from December 12-25.
The planet Uranus is spectacularly close to an almost identically bright star throughout late September.
A fair-sized chunk of rock will pass unusually close to Earth this week. If you don’t have a telescope, dark skies, or a clear night, watch its close approach broadcast live from the Virtual Telescope Project.
Strong auroras are likely this weekend at high latitudes and possible at middle latitudes.
Check out our videos from the 21st annual Northeast Astronomy Forum, one of the world's largest telescope shows.
Make plans to attend the largest annual astronomy trade show in America: the Northeast Astronomy Forum & Telescope Show.
The crescent Moon visits Jupiter on the evening of Sunday, March 25th, and it visits Venus on Monday night.
Jupiter and Venus have just crossed paths in the sky. From The two planets are within 5° of each other from March 9th to 17th, fitting in a single field of view through most binoculars.
The Venus-Moon conjunction on Saturday, February 25th, is an ideal opportunity to view Venus during broad daylight.
The night's six or seven brightest objects are all visible simultaneously in late February and early March.
Shortly after sunset on Wednesday, February 22nd, Mercury will be paired with an extraordinarily thin crescent Moon very low in the west.
S&T associate editor Tony Flanders muses on the rewards and challenges of scripting a television program.
An international committee formed to settle the protocol for civilian time once and for all recently announced an important decision — they're going to put off the decision for another three years.
Sky & Telescope's December 2011 issue is now available to digital subscribers.
The extraordinary variable star Mira is expected to peak in early October, 2011.