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.

Walking with Arcturus

Stars are time machines that can transport us into the past or future. They can also illuminate our own personal journeys, as Arcturus did for me one night.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, March 9 – 17

  Friday, March 9 • Just after twilight fades away this week, bright Sirius stands due south on the meridian. Sirius is the bottom star of the equilateral Winter Triangle. The Triangle's other two stars are orange Betelgeuse (Orion's shoulder) to Sirius's upper right, and Procyon to Sirius's upper left. • In early dawn Saturday…

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, February 23 – March 3

  Friday, February 23 • First-quarter Moon (exact at 3:09 a.m. on this date EST). For North America this evening, the Moon shines left or upper left of Aldebaran, and farther upper right of Orion, as shown here. The Moon occults Aldebaran in daylight or twilight for northern and western Europe, and in darkness for…

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, February 2 – 10

The Winter Hexagon fills the sky toward the east and south these evenings. Start with brilliant Sirius at its bottom. Going clockwise from there, march up through Procyon, Pollux and Castor, Menkalinan and Capella on high, down to Aldebaran, then to Rigel in Orion's foot, and back to Sirius.