M17 is the Omega Nebula

The Omega Nebula – M17 – is visible through binoculars and glorious in a low power telescope. It’s one of our galaxy’s vast star-forming regions. How to find it.

Find the Crown of the Scorpion

Here’s a cool asterism, or noticeable pattern of stars, to look for in your sky. The Scorpion’s Crown consists of just 3 stars.

What’s a Blood Moon?

In some circles of Christian prophecy, a Blood Moon is a member of a special kind of lunar tetrad : four total lunar eclipses in a row, each separated by six lunar months. By this definition, the last Blood Moon occurred on September 28, 2015.

Uranus, Neptune, Pluto: A longer view

Astronomer Guy Ottewell talks about his awesome book about some of our solar system’s most beloved outer worlds. As always, he provides the best charts anywhere!

Close-up on Pluto's path in front of the constellation Sagittarius.

We go between the sun and Pluto on July 14

This is Pluto’s opposition, marking the middle of the best time of year to see it. Telescope users spot it by locating its star field and watching nightly for the object that moves. Details and photos here.

Scorpius? Here’s your constellation

The Scorpion in the sky and in mythology. Here’s everything you need to know.

Antares is the Heart of the Scorpion

Bright red Antares is easy to spot now. It’s the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius and represents the Scorpion’s Heart.

A bright round full moon, with the bright dot of Jupiter nearby, and 4 pinpricks of light aligned in space near Jupiter, along the giant planet's equator.

How to see Jupiter’s moons

With Jupiter now at its best, turn binoculars or a telescope on the giant planet for a glimpse of its 4 largest moons.

A telescopic view of Saturn and its rings.

Word of the week: Opposition

Saturn’s opposition is this week. Jupiter’s opposition was about a month ago. What is opposition? It marks the middle of the best time of year to see a planet … but why?

Coathanger: Looks like its name

The Coathanger star cluster resembles its namesake and is easy to spot through binoculars. Use the star Albireo – part of the Summer Triangle – to find it.

Intricate composite image of total solar eclipse.

More amazing images of the July 2 eclipse

Some called it the “astronomer’s eclipse” because it passed near major observatories in Chile. Check out these beautiful images of the July 2, 2019, total solar eclipse.

Earth farthest from the sun on July 4

Earth is farthest from the sun for all of 2019 on July 4. Astronomers call this point in our orbit “aphelion.”

July guide to the bright planets

July 2019 is Saturn’s month. Its opposition is July 9. Both Saturn and Jupiter appear in the southeast at nightfall and light up the sky most of the night. Mercury and Mars sit low in the west at sunset in early July and quickly follow the sun below the horizon. Venus, east at dawn, succumbs to the glare of sunrise.

Why no eclipse every full and new moon?

In 2019, there are 13 new moons and 12 full moons, but only 5 eclipses – 3 solar and 2 lunar.

Viewing Saturn’s rings soon? Read me 1st

The best time of 2019 for seeing Saturn’s glorious rings is upon us. You’ve seen the photos, but maybe you want to see the rings with your own eyes? Here are a few things to think about.

Zubeneschamali: A green star?

Although some scientists claim stars can’t look green, many stargazers will swear that Zubeneschamali proves otherwise.

Zubenelgenubi is Libra’s alpha star

Now it’s Libra’s alpha star. But Zubenelgenubi is an Arabic name indicating that this star was once perceived as the Southern Claw of Scorpius the Scorpion.

Best photos of the Mercury-Mars conjunction

It was the closest conjunction of 2 planets in 2019, between Mercury and Mars. It happened low in the evening twilight – and was best seen from Earth’s Southern Hemisphere. Check out these photos from EarthSky Community members.

Word of the Week: Conjunction

When you hear the word “conjunction” in astronomy, you know it means 2 objects close together on our sky’s dome. This post defines inferior and super conjunctions, plus discusses conjunctions between planets, stars and the moon.

Summer solstice tale of 2 cities

On the June solstice, the sun will set at the same time in New York City and St. Augustine, Florida. But New York will have an hour more of daylight. How’s that happen?