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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

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

Moon, Venus, and Mars A quiet New Year’s Eve lightshow December 31, 2016

Christmas Skies The beautiful gift of the stars December 24, 2016

Spring Preview Previewing the spring sky December 23, 2016

Moon and Capricornus Getting a grip on the sea-goat December 3, 2016

Starry Skies Stars and more stars November 22, 2016

Twinkling Twinkle, twinkle, every star October 30, 2016

Moon and Aldebaran Four years of hide-and-seek October 18, 2016

More Moon and Planets Variety in the evening sky October 6, 2016

Moon and Planets The Moon slides by some bright planets October 4, 2016

Messier 39 Taking a wider view of a star cluster September 4, 2016

Venus and Jupiter Bright but hard-to-see planets August 25, 2016

Mars and Antares Rivals line up in the evening sky August 23, 2016

Moon, Meteors, and More The Moon, meteors, and more August 11, 2016

Venus Rising Venus rising in the evening sky August 4, 2016

Sun Walk Walking the path of the Sun July 31, 2016

Bright Lights Looking through the moonlight July 16, 2016

More Moon and Companions Boxing in some bright lights July 14, 2016

Bright and Close Cutting off the light of a star July 9, 2016

Moon and Companions A beautiful evening conjunction June 17, 2016

Disappearing Stars The end of the season for four stars May 23, 2016

Moon and Planets A beautiful morning quartet April 24, 2016

The Whole Gang The worlds of the solar system February 1, 2016

Mars and Meteors Mars, meteors, and the Moon — after this. January 3, 2016

Moon and Mars Lighting up the waning Moon — after this. January 2, 2016

Featured Images

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

Fomalhaut in early October

Lonely Star October 1, 2014

A view of the busy Milky Way

Busy Galaxy July 24, 2014

Fading Away June 29, 2014

Diagram of Orion, the hunter

Orion's Belt February 16, 2014

Space station view of Comet ISON and other celestial objects

Doomed Comet December 4, 2013

Eastern dawn sky, early August 2013

Morning Jam August 2, 2013

Planetary conjunction, May 2013

Evening Traffic Jam May 25, 2013

Hubble Space Telescope image of Comet ISON, April 2013

Closing In April 24, 2013

Comet C/2011 L4 Panstarrs in the western evening sky in March

Sneaky Comet March 10, 2013

Comet McNaught, 2007

Bright Interlopers January 2, 2013

Moon, Jupiter, and Taurus, October 4-5, 2012

Bull Rush October 4, 2012

Venus-Regulus encounter in the pre-dawn sky, October 2-4, 2012

Morning Mashup October 1, 2012

First-quarter Moon

Moonwatch September 22, 2012

About one hour after sunset, late August and early September

Red Rivals August 29, 2012

Altair is one of the three planets of the Summer Triangle

Flying Eagle July 12, 2012

Moon and Companions, June 2012

Moon and Company June 25, 2012

Illustration of annular eclipse of May 20, 2012

In the Zone May 18, 2012

Venus and Jupiter pass each other in the evening sky, March 10-14, 2012

Celestial Headlights March 10, 2012

The Moon passes by Mars and the star pattern of Leo, March 2012

Doubly Brilliant March 6, 2012

Mars is at opposition in early March 2012, shining brightest for the year

Mighty Mars March 3, 2012

Earth's atmosphere distorts the Moon as seen from the International Space Statio

Squashed Moon January 17, 2012

The Moon and Hyades, night of January 5, 2012

Staring at the Bull January 5, 2012

Phoenix and Grus in the southern sky, late November evening

Rare Birds November 28, 2011

Moon, Mars, and Aldebaran, July 26-28, 2011

Seeing Orange July 25, 2011

Delta Lyrae and the Summer Triangle

Seeing Double July 10, 2011

Moon and planets in the dawn sky, April 30/May 1, 2011

Dawn Encounter April 29, 2011

Mercury and Jupiter passing in the evening sky

Just Passing By March 13, 2011

Western sky a couple of hours after sunset in late December

Happy Holidays! December 25, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse of December 21, 2010

Disappearing Moon December 20, 2010

China Clipper Sails the Pacific Ocean

Night Over Water November 22, 2010

Two planets and a star team up with the crescent Moon in the western evening sky

Moon and Companions September 10, 2010

Western Lineup June 27, 2010

Bright Encounter January 27, 2010