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Stargazing and Skywatching

For more information about what to see in the nightsky tonight and this month, visit our Stargazing page.


Equipment Tips May 14, 2010

What to Look For May 14, 2010

Become a Stargazer April 14, 2010

Radio Programs

Morning Glories Two beautiful dawn alignments November 30, 2023

Moon and Regulus Lighting up the fading Moon November 5, 2023

Moon and Venus A long run for the “morning star” October 7, 2023

Moon and Spica A good “semi-quincentennial” star August 20, 2023

Mercury and Regulus A planet sneaks up on the lion July 28, 2023

Venus and Mercury Two planets that just make sense July 21, 2023

Evening Lights A bright lineup in the evening sky July 1, 2023

Summer Moon The evening sky on the first day of summer June 21, 2023

Moon and Companions Maneuvering into the daylight June 20, 2023

Star Parties Illuminating the beautiful night sky June 4, 2023

Short Moon Bright but bashful full Moons June 2, 2023

Crowded Sky Moving through the crowded evening sky May 24, 2023

Moon and Companions Lining up a celestial block party May 22, 2023

Pyxis and Antlia Going high-tech in the night sky April 30, 2023

Moon, Venus, Aldebaran A time delay in the night sky April 22, 2023

Evening Mercury Lining up a bright neighbor April 2, 2023

More Venus and Jupiter A tug-of-war with Earth in the middle March 1, 2023

Venus and Jupiter Brilliant planets hang close February 28, 2023

Moon, Venus, Jupiter III Viewing the Moon when it’s not in sight February 23, 2023

Passel of Planets A half dozen planets in the evening sky January 1, 2023

Venus and Mercury Changing the surface of a planet December 27, 2022

Christmas Eve Sky Beautiful gifts in the evening sky December 24, 2022

Venus Rising Venus returns to view December 9, 2022

Lingering Summer The stars of summer hang around October 18, 2022

More Mars Getting serious about the Red Planet September 12, 2022

Missing Handle A teapot loses part of its handle September 5, 2022

Messier 39 The right tool for a star cluster September 4, 2022

Perseid Meteors Bright Moon, faint meteors August 11, 2022

Dogging the Sun “Rainbows” that flank the Sun June 29, 2022

Moon and Planets The Moon takes aim at a planet June 23, 2022

Venus and Uranus Mismatched planets in the dawn sky June 10, 2022

Deneb Algedi A planet “tails” the sea goat May 28, 2022

Galaxies Aplenty Blocking out millions of galaxies May 26, 2022

Two Pair Bright pairings in the dawn sky May 25, 2022

Twilight The final glimmers of daylight May 3, 2022

Moon and Companions Dropping into the evening twilight May 2, 2022

Venus and Jupiter Bright planets cross paths April 28, 2022

Moon, Venus, and Jupiter Tracking worlds across the daytime sky April 26, 2022

Moon and Companions II The Moon runs the gauntlet April 25, 2022

Moon and Companions A solar-system meet-up in the dawn sky April 23, 2022

Evening Mercury A planet that’s bucking the trend April 17, 2022

Dawn Quartet Turning a trio into a quartet March 26, 2022

Dawn Trio Clogging up the dawn sky March 21, 2022

The Rabbit Bounding past the feet of the hunter March 13, 2022

Double Duty A star pulls double duty January 16, 2022

Mercury and Saturn Two early evening planets get close January 9, 2022

Morning Venus A new time for a brilliant planet January 8, 2022

Planetary Lineup Bright but disappearing evening planets January 1, 2022

Venus in the Teapot The teapot and the “evening star” November 16, 2021

Dark Skies Finding dark night skies November 9, 2021

The Sea Sailing across the celestial sea October 30, 2021

Evening Star Following the brilliant “evening star” October 29, 2021

The Little Horse Drawing up a little horse September 26, 2021

Directions Taking your bearings with the stars September 18, 2021

Venus and Spica A bright illusion in the evening sky September 1, 2021

Orion Rising Familiar stars climb into view August 22, 2021

Moon and Jupiter The gibbous Moon fades in a hurry July 25, 2021

Mars, Venus, Moon Three neighbors huddle close together July 11, 2021

Venus and Companions Faint companions for the “evening star” July 2, 2021

Moon and Antares An upcoming change in the night sky June 22, 2021

Moon and Companions Zooming in on the Moon and some companions June 13, 2021

Annular Eclipse A “ring of fire” across the top of the world June 9, 2021

Mars and the Twins Mars drives into the sunset June 6, 2021

Lunar Eclipse A brief total eclipse of the Moon May 25, 2021

Morning Treats Double treats in the early morning sky May 4, 2021

Missing Venus The planet Venus goes missing March 26, 2021

Evening Mercury An evening planet that’s in a hurry January 18, 2021

Moon and Planets Leading the Moon down the sky January 14, 2021

New Year’s Sky A beautiful sky for a new year December 31, 2020

Winter Circle A bright ring around the Moon December 28, 2020

Holiday Skies Holiday treats in the night sky December 24, 2020

Jupiter and Saturn A beautiful illusion in the evening sky December 20, 2020

Rising Dipper A brief disappearance for the Big Dipper December 19, 2020

Moon and Planets A bright lineup in the evening sky December 16, 2020

Moon and Venus Crossing paths in the afternoon sky December 11, 2020

Jupiter and Saturn Giant planets snuggle up December 1, 2020

Penumbral Eclipse Cycling through some lunar eclipses November 29, 2020

Moon and Companions A bright quartet in the dawn sky November 12, 2020

Moon and Planets Long trips to bright objects October 22, 2020

Mars at Opposition Lining up some beautiful sights October 12, 2020

Bright Pairings Bright pairings across the night sky October 2, 2020

Summer Symbols Symbols of summer in the evening sky September 27, 2020

Daytime Shower Listening to a meteor shower September 26, 2020

Perseid Meteors Fireworks from a messy comet August 9, 2020

Great Appearances Great appearances in the dawn sky July 11, 2020

Moon and Regulus The reassuring rhythm of the heavens June 24, 2020

Moon and Companions Layers upon layers in the evening sky May 23, 2020

Venus and Mercury Criss-crossing in the evening sky May 20, 2020

Satellites Galore Satellites by the thousands May 6, 2020

Bright Lights More lights in the night sky May 5, 2020

Universe Turning through the universe April 23, 2020

Moon and Planets Rolling past some bright planets April 14, 2020

Venus and Aldebaran Bright lights passing in the night April 6, 2020

Towering Venus The “evening star” stands tall March 23, 2020

Moon and Planets A bright lineup in the dawn sky March 16, 2020

Seeing Stars Counting up the stars March 8, 2020

Venus and Uranus Taking aim at a faint giant March 7, 2020

Moon and Jupiter The Moon tours the solar system February 18, 2020

Moon and Mars Stage magic in the pre-dawn sky February 17, 2020

Evening Mercury Lighting up some evening planets February 8, 2020

Dog Stars A pair of dogs in the night sky January 18, 2020

Earliest Sunset Messing with the sunset December 3, 2019

Moon and Planets Bright targets in the evening sky November 28, 2019

Venus and Jupiter Bright lights in evening twilight November 20, 2019

Morning Treats Skywatching treats in the morning sky November 10, 2019

Circumpolar Stars Stars that never set October 6, 2019

Winter Preview Taking a sneak peek at winter September 29, 2019

Venus Returns Venus tries to climb into view September 28, 2019

Moon and Spica Spinning a star out of view September 1, 2019

Island Astronomy Dark skies off the coast of Africa August 16, 2019

Lahaina Noon The Sun stands high July 14, 2019

Beautiful Pairings Beautiful pairings in the evening sky June 16, 2019

Crow and Cup The dangers of unripe figs April 26, 2019

Venus and Saturn Contrasting planets in the dawn sky February 17, 2019

Daytime Moon A nightlight in the daytime sky January 28, 2019

Lunar Eclipse II A repeat performance for the Moon January 20, 2019

Morning Lights Lighting up the dawn of the new year December 31, 2018

Long-Night Moon Lots and lots of moonlight December 21, 2018

Jupiter and Mercury Bright worlds in the dawn sky December 19, 2018

Comet Wirtanen A special visitor for the bull December 13, 2018

Mars and Neptune  Orange and blue in the evening sky December 5, 2018

Comet Wirtanen A hyperactive comet gets close November 28, 2018

Bright Triangle Picking out a pattern of stars November 17, 2018

Moon and Pluto Lining up with Pluto November 12, 2018

Draconid Meteors Sparks or misfires from the dragon? October 8, 2018

Moon and Aldebaran A last rendezvous September 1, 2018

Venus and Spica Sneaking up on a bright star August 27, 2018

North vs. South North versus south in the evening sky August 19, 2018

Moon and Venus Bright companions for the Moon August 13, 2018

Mars and Company Bright sights in the night sky July 24, 2018

Two Crosses Bright crosses for north and south July 21, 2018

Evening Quartet A beautiful evening quartet July 14, 2018

Summer Triangle Triangulating on the summer sky July 1, 2018

Evening Sights Bright planets in the June sky June 16, 2018

Moon and Venus Bright encounter in the evening sky June 15, 2018

Western Lights Bright lights in the western sky May 28, 2018

Venus and Aldebaran A bright pairing in the evening sky April 28, 2018

Stationary Saturn A “wanderer” stands still April 16, 2018

Mars and Saturn Sibling worlds in the morning sky April 1, 2018

Morning Lineup Starting the week off right February 9, 2018

Red Rivalry Colorful rivals in the dawn sky February 8, 2018

Moon and Companions Changing distance, changing brightness February 7, 2018

Holiday Lights Bright lights in the holiday sky December 31, 2017

Holiday Skies A beautiful sky for a holiday night December 24, 2017

Twinkling Twinkle, twinkle, little star December 23, 2017

Sun Time Clocking some early sunsets December 3, 2017

Bright Pairs Bright pairings in the dawn sky December 2, 2017

Moon, Planets, Meteors Mornings made for skywatching November 15, 2017

Venus and Jupiter Bright planets in the dawn sky November 11, 2017

Bright Sky Filling the sky with light November 4, 2017

Sailing Along Sailing across the celestial sea October 29, 2017

Moon Watching A special night for moonwatching October 28, 2017

Moon and Regulus A big star disappears from view October 14, 2017

Mars and Venus Two planets headed in opposite directions October 4, 2017

Moon in the Middle A beautiful morning lineup September 17, 2017

Moon, Jupiter, and Spica Daylight and darkness in the evening sky August 24, 2017

Eclipse Day Two chances to see an eclipse August 21, 2017

Ready for the Eclipse Getting ready for the big event August 20, 2017

Eclipse Predictions Predicting a skywatching spectacle August 19, 2017

Eclipse Watching Safety tips for a skywatching spectacle August 18, 2017

Morning View Winter skywatching at daybreak August 7, 2017

Venus and Aldebaran A fleeting encounter in the morning sky July 10, 2017

Summer Triangle Triangulating the summer sky June 25, 2017

Venus at Elongation Venus pulls away from the Sun June 2, 2017

Sky Test Testing the quality of the night sky May 19, 2017

Turning Seasons A change of season in the night sky May 14, 2017

More Moon and Saturn Lighting an astronomical intersection May 13, 2017

Moon and Companions Plotting the motions of a giant May 6, 2017

Last Glance A last good look at the hunter April 23, 2017

Moon, Mars, and Mercury Balls of rock in the evening sky March 29, 2017

Venus and Mercury A close pass in the evening sky March 17, 2017

Darker Skies A way to darken the night sky March 12, 2017

Moon, Jupiter, Spica A 3-D journey in the night sky February 14, 2017

Climbing Dipper Following the Big Dipper February 11, 2017

Moon in the Middle Bright stars around the Moon February 7, 2017

Moon and Aldebaran Coloring the eye of the bull January 8, 2017

Dark Skies Why the night sky is dark January 6, 2017

Moon and More Moon, planets, and meteors January 2, 2017

Big Year A big year ahead in the sky January 1, 2017

Featured Images

Annular Solar Eclipse, 1994

Ring of Fire October 12, 2023

venus and jupiter pass close to each other in the evening sky

Close Passage February 27, 2023

Sparse Cluster September 4, 2022

Dawn alignment, mid-June 2022

Dawn Lineup June 13, 2022

Moon, Venus, Jupiter at dawn, late April into early May

Beautiful Crossing April 26, 2022

Milky Way over McDonald Observatory

Seeing the Darkness April 7, 2022

Moon and planets, January 4, 5, 6

Beautiful Encounter January 4, 2022

Four planets in the New Year evening sky

New Year's Sky January 1, 2022

Just Passing By December 23, 2021

path of comet leonard in the evening sky

Long-Range Visitor December 11, 2021

Eclipsed Moon

Darkening the Moon November 18, 2021

Zodiacal light extends upward from the horizon, with the Milky Way at left

Zodiacal Light September 8, 2021

Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky

Closer and Closer December 16, 2020

Perseid meteor, 2015

Night Light August 9, 2020

Comet Neowise at Dawn

Dawn Visitor July 9, 2020

Comet NeoWISE in the dawn sky, July 5-9

Dawn Comet July 3, 2020

Sagittarius and Scorpius

Summer Highlights June 25, 2020

Busy Sky May 23, 2020

Starlink satellites

Streaky Skies May 6, 2020

Venus and the Pleiades

Beautiful Encounter April 3, 2020

Moon and Spica, evening of June 12, 2019

Double Giant June 12, 2019

View of Jupiter's southern hemisphere from June, February 2019

Artistic Giant June 9, 2019

Moon and companions on May 7

Mars in the Middle May 6, 2019

Venus and Saturn in the dawn sky

Dawn Planets February 17, 2019

Comet Wirtanen's path across the December sky

Passing the Bull December 9, 2018

Voyager 2 image of Uranus

Blue-Green Giant October 22, 2018

Moonrise over Yellowstone National Park

Moon Over Yellowstone September 23, 2018

Blue Neptune September 5, 2018

Lineup of Mars and other planets in late July

Brilliant Mars July 23, 2018

Milky Way above Glacier National Park

Galactic Home July 8, 2018

Hubble view of Jupiter, 2014

Beautiful Giant May 7, 2018

Diagram of the Hyades

Facing the Bull April 4, 2018

Sirius, Mirzam, and M41 in Canis Major, the big dog

Doggie Treats March 11, 2018

Sirius and Canopus, early evening, early March

Gold and Silver March 1, 2018

Canis Major

The Big Dog February 20, 2018

The constellation Orion stands above the eastern horizon

Orion Rising December 10, 2017

moonrise at arches national park

Moonwatching October 28, 2017

diagram showing future north stars

Royal Pole Star September 19, 2017

Solar eclipse sequence

Anatomy of an Eclipse August 20, 2017

Proper eye protection is needed for safe eclipse viewing

Safety First! August 18, 2017

Map showing the circumstances of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse

The Right Path August 14, 2017

Twilight over McDonald Observatory

A Civil Sky June 18, 2017

Lynx in the west, late May

Faint Cat May 25, 2017

Encke's Comet in mid-February

Evening Comet February 16, 2017

A comet in the February pre-dawn sky

Green Visitor February 8, 2017

Moon, Venus, and Mars, evenings of January 30 and 31

Evening Array January 29, 2017

Sunset over the Davis Mountains

Earliest Sunsets December 1, 2016

leonid meteor, 2009

Meteor Time November 16, 2016

Ground-based view of M39 star cluster

Sparkling Cluster September 4, 2016

The bow of Sagittarius

Celestial Bow August 15, 2016

2009 view of Perseid meteors

Rain of Fire August 10, 2016

Planets in the dawn sky, February 2016

The Whole Gang January 31, 2016

Morning alignment of planets, January 2016

Five in a Row January 24, 2016

Moon and companions

Morning Array October 7, 2015

Comet Crawl September 14, 2015

Encounter between Venus and Jupiter, July 2015

Planetary Headlights July 2, 2015

Views of the Venus-Jupiter evening encounter, June 26-July 4, 2015

Brilliant Encounter June 26, 2015

The western evening sky of May 22, 2015

Crowded Skies May 22, 2015

The constellation Corvus, near brilliant Spica

Sailing On May 17, 2015