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Upside-down Cassiopeia on Mercator globe.

Schedar lies at the Queen’s heart

Cassiopeia the Queen is an easy-to-find constellation from northerly latitudes. It has the shape of an M or W. Schedar is the Queen’s brightest star.

Autumn 2016 in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Photo via Jessi Leigh Photography.  Thanks Jessi!

Why do leaves change color in fall?

In the fall, the leaves of some trees turn yellow, orange or red. The bright colors are wonderful to behold. But do they have some hidden purpose?


Astro festivals, star parties, workshops

Looking for something to do on the weekends? At star parties, amateur astronomers with telescopes will show you the night sky. Find one near you …


Cassiopeia the Queen after sunset

The constellation Cassiopeia the Queen has the distinct shape of a W or M. Find her in the north-northeast sky on September and October evenings.


Orion the Hunter and Sirius the Dog Star

You’ll always know it’s the sky’s brightest star, Sirius, if the very noticeable constellation Orion the Hunter is nearby.


Great Square of Pegasus points to Andromeda galaxy

We showed you how to use Cassiopeia to find this galaxy. Now try star-hopping from the Great Square of Pegasus.

Phobos, via Viking 1.  Image Credit:  NASA

Today in science: A moon for Mars

American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered Phobos, one of the two Martian moons, on this date in 1877. Did he imagine how well we’d see Mars’ moons today?

Geminid meteor, Lovund, Nordland, Norway.
 Photo via Tommy Eliassen.

How high up do meteors start glowing?

Meteors begin to glow almost as soon as they hit Earth’s atmosphere, but tend to vaporize (burn up completely) at varying altitudes.

Randy Baumhover captured this image at Meyers Creek Beach on the Oregon coast.

Top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

How to watch a meteor shower. Tips for beginners.

You'll find Scutum above the constellation Sagittarius, in the south on N. Hemisphere summer evenings.

Scutum the Shield named for Polish king

The constellation Scutum has just 4 noticeable stars, and even those require a dark sky.