Astronomy Essentials
Visible planets and night sky February 2023
February 2023 visible planets including dazzling Jupiter and Venus in the west after sunset. Mars is high in the evening sky. Mercury is up before sunrise.
Watch exoplanets orbit their star in new video
You can watch 4 exoplanets orbit their home star in this new video from Jason Wang of Northwestern University. See the video here.
Astronomy Essentials

Exoplanets are worlds orbiting other stars

Exoplanets are worlds orbiting distant stars. Learn the history of our knowledge of exoplanets, the various types, how astronomers find them, and more.

Sun activity: Massive prominence eruption

Sun activity for February 1, 2023. Low with C and B flares. A massive prominence erupted off the northwest limb this morning.

Comet Machholz rounds the sun, drops fragments

Comet Machholz made its closest approach to the sun on January 31, 2023. It left behind tiny fragments. Read more about this unusual comet.

SpaceX Starlink launches for January 2023

SpaceX’s next Starlink launch for the month is currently scheduled from California at 16:15 UTC on January 31, 2023. Watch the livestream here.
Astronomy Essentials

Comet 2022 E3 ZTF closest to Earth February 1 and 2

The green comet - Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) - will be closest to Earth on February 1 and 2. It's prime time to view this comet, which might be the brightest of 2023.
Today's Image

Green comet photos and video: Editors’ picks

Enjoy these photos of Comet 2022 E3 (ZTF) as it approaches Earth, taken by members of the EarthSky community. The comet is closest to Earth on February 1 and 2.

Lucy spacecraft to visit an asteroid this year

The Lucy spacecraft has a new target! It will visit a main-belt asteroid at the end of 2023, two years ahead of schedule. Read more about its new target.
Astronomy Essentials

Comets and asteroids: What’s the difference?

Comets and asteroids both orbit our sun, but usually reside in different parts of our solar system. And except for a few, they're different materials.