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.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, January 12 – 20

Friday, January 12 • Sirius, the Dog Star, rises in the east-southeast around the end of twilight now, if you're near latitude 40° north (New York, Denver, Madrid, Athens). From such latitudes, Procyon — left of Sirius, by 2½ fists at arm's length — precedes it up; "Procyon" is from the ancient Greek for "before…

Catch these Comets in 2018

We look ahead to see what fuzzy visitors, new and returning, will brighten the nights ahead. One and possibly two naked-eye comets are on the way.

January’s Total Lunar Eclipse

On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years graces the skies above North America. The Western United States, including Alaska and Hawaiʻi, has the best view.

Colorful Perseid fireball

The Best Meteor Showers in 2018

More than a dozen times each year, we experience a pulse of "shooting stars" from an annual meteor shower. Sky & Telescope predicts that the two best meteor showers in 2018 will be the Perseids in mid-August and the Geminids in mid-December.

Lunar Hall of Fame

Beginning in 1645, obsessed observers drew maps of the Moon's face in ever-greater detail. These observers made it into the author's Lunar Hall of Fame.