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Watch What Could Be This Summer’s Best Meteor Shower

A July meteor shower promises a chance to catch a shooting star.

5 Sky Events This Week: Rare Celestial Shadow Dance and Leo Paws at the Moon

A brightening comet, Jupiter’s moons and a rendezvous with Mars fill out another exciting week in skywatching.

5 Sky Events This Week: Mercury Rises while Green Giant Poses

May’s moon pays a visit, pointing to bright evening celestial landmarks this week while our planetary neighbors put on a parade for sky-watchers. Moon joins Spica. As the sun sets on Monday, May 12, you’ll find a waxing gibbous moon parked to the lower left of the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, the Maiden. The steely…

5 Sky Events This Week: Full Lunar Eclipse and Lord of the Rings

This is a big week even for the most amateur of sky-watchers, with a rare full lunar eclipse and Mars getting as close as it ever does to Earth. Moon shadow play. The moon will appear to be orange-red late Monday night and early Tuesday morning as it undergoes a total eclipse, the first visible…

Sea Serpent Eats Cosmic Diamond Ring

A  cosmic diamond ring is the best way to describe the haunting beauty of a distant star in its final moments of life. Located some 2,500 light-years from Earth within the belly of a mythical water snake, Abell 33 (also known as PK238+34.1) represents the final remains of a sunlike star that has thrown its…

4 Sky Events This Week: Ghostly Glows and Rocky Worlds

Ethereal apparitions from the dusty inner solar system this week seem certain to delight sky-watchers.  Zodiacal lights. Starting Monday, March 24, and continuing through the week, keen-eyed sky-watchers in the mid-northern latitudes will witness the ghostly glow of the zodiacal lights, which will appear about one to two hours after local dusk in the western sky.…

5 Sky Events of the Week: Stellar Peak-a-Boo and Leo Paws at the Moon

With a change of seasons only days away, mid-March skies offer celestial sights that even the novice stargazer will find easy to enjoy. Lunar rectangle. After nightfall on Monday, March 10, look for the waxing gibbous moon to form a corner of a rectangle with Jupiter and the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, high in the southern…

4 Sky Events This Week: Seven Sisters and a Stellar Sandwich

A final glimpse of the seventh planet from the sun comes this week, and the moon takes sky-watchers on a celestial tour of some stunning star clusters. Last-chance green giant. After dusk on Monday, March 3, the razor-thin crescent moon acts as convenient guidepost to the fast-fading planet Uranus, which will hang just below the moon.…

4 Sky Events This Week: Venus at Dawn and Gemini’s Double Jewel Box

A crescent moon snuggles up to the innermost planets this week, while sky-watchers will also see mythical twins reveal two stellar wonders. Zodiacal lights. With the moon out of the early evening sky this week, ideal sky conditions prevail for hunting down the elusive zodiacal lights. This ethereal glow across the sky is caused by sunlight…

Photo: Scorpion’s Stinger Studded With Diamond Sash

  In the high desert of Chile, a giant telescope’s eye has opened ours to the true beauty of a well-known star cluster. Best of all, the starry bauble strikes the observer’s eyes from near the tip of a mythical Scorpion’s stinger. One of the more popular deep-sky objects for backyard stargazers, Messier 7 is a brilliant…

Intense Starburst Spotted in Nearby Galaxy

Things are rocking right now in our own galactic neighborhood. Backyard telescope users already knew about the Cigar Galaxy, or M82, located in the Great Bear constellation, Ursa Major. Now it has two new cosmic secrets to explore. Two weeks ago a supernova—a giant exploding star—was discovered by British university students within the galaxy, which is…

6 Sky Events This Week: Cosmic Outburst, Asteroid Flyby, Buzzing Beehive

From exploding stars, barnstorming asteroids, and a buzzing beehive, the starry skies this week are filled with cosmic wonders to behold. Supernova Update: A surprise star exploded in a spiral galaxy 12 million light years from Earth and appears to be slowly brightening in the evening skies. The Cigar Galaxy or Messier 82 is host…

5 Sky Events This Week: A Cosmic Blooming Flower and a New Year’s Shower

As festivities kick off the New Year, sky-watchers will revel in nights filled with shooting stars, the king of planets shining like a beacon, and grand planetary spectacles blooming in the heavens. Great Orion Nebula. With the moon reaching a new phase for New Year’s Eve, December 31, the dark skies are perfect for hunting…

5 Sky Events This Week: Charioteer Rides With Stellar Gifts, Moon Pairs With Heavenly Gems

Starry skies abound this holiday week, with treats for both the novice and the seasoned sky-watcher.  The moon joins bright stellar landmarks, while brilliant star clusters take center stage in the sky. Celestial charioteer. With the moon absent from the early evening sky on Monday, December 23, it’s a great time to look instead toward…

6 Sky Events This Week: Leonids, Green Giant and a Stellar Snow Globe

A treasure-trove of celestial sights are on display this week, ranging from a double-dose of meteor showers, a green-giant planet and one of the most beautiful deep-space sights seen in the heavens.  North Taurids Peak.  Late night on Monday, November 11, and during the following morning, the North Taurid meteor shower peaks. Individual meteors will…