Observing

The night sky is always changing. Observers watch planets dance in the evening, stars explode as supernovae, and new comets grace dawn skies. Here we bring together all the stargazing tips and resources you’ll need to see the glories that light up the heavens. Our Sky at a Glance column guides you to the best celestial sights of the week, our astronomy podcast provides a monthly audio tour, and our interactive tools and guides are useful resources to aid your observing at any time.

Fall Astronomy Day 2018

Curious about astronomy? No plans for Saturday? Well, you’re in luck! Saturday October 13 is Fall Astronomy Day and your local amateur astronomical community has all sorts of fun things in store for you.

How Dark Is Your Night Sky?

Traditional and digital tools can help you learn the naked-eye magnitude limit of your sky and find out if the darkness has changed at your observing site.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, September 28 – October 6

  Friday, September 28 • Late this evening, spot the little Pleiades cluster to the upper left of the Moon, as shown at right. When we see the Pleiades climb the eastern sky in autumn, their tiny dipper pattern stands on its handle. Saturday, September 29 • There's roughly a two-hour window of darkness now…

Storm of the Millenium

A Jupiter Almanac

Find information on observing Jupiter during its 2016 - 2017 apparition, including information on its moons and Great Red Spot transit predictions.

Here Comes the Harvest Moon!

This month's Harvest Moon will be up early to light the night as well as act as a beacon for watching the annual fall bird migration through a small telescope.

Simply extraordinary

Explore the Veil Nebula

The Veil Nebula, the tattered remains of an ancient supernova explosion, is one of the most spectacular objects in the night sky. Did you know it has two dozen parts visible in amateur telescopes?

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, August 24 – September 1

  Friday, August 24 • For yet another week, four bright planets await your view at once as twilight fades. From right to left, they are Venus very low in the west-southwest, Jupiter in the southwest (upper left of Venus), Saturn in the south a little higher than Jupiter, and bright Mars lower in the…