Will you see BepiColombo’s goodbye flyby tonight?

BepiColombo is a spacecraft on a roundabout journey to Mercury. It’ll sweep near Earth tonight, using Earth as a gravity slingshot to send it hurtling toward the inner solar system. For most of us, BepiColombo will pass unseen. But people with telescopes might spot it! Charts and more here.

Large space rock passing near Earth.

Here’s how to see that huge asteroid that’ll safely pass Earth in April

A huge asteroid – (52768) 1998 OR2 – will pass closest to Earth on April 29. Astronomers at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico begin detailed observations today. Charts, tips – plus how to watch online – here.

What is a supermoon?

We’re currently enjoying a “season” of 3 full moon supermoons: March 9, April 7-8 and May 7, 2020. Then we’ll have a “season” of 3 new moon supermoons on September 17, October 16 and November 15, 2020. Supermoon-o-mania, here.

Photos: Venus and the Pleiades meet

This week, Venus – the brightest planet and dazzling “evening star” – will pass the beautiful Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters. Look west after sunset! Venus and the Pleiades meet only every 8 years. Photos here.

April 2020 guide to the bright planets

In April 2020, Venus is at its brightest as the evening “star,” passing near the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, as the month begins. In the morning, you can see Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. In the Southern Hemisphere, catch Mercury before sunrise …

Multi-colored rocky planet with smaller gray moon.

Jupiter gives us Pluto in 2020

Jupiter and Pluto stay close together on the sky’s dome throughout 2020. This year may well present the best Jupiter-Pluto alignment for centuries to come, with the first of the year’s 3 Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions to fall on April 5, 2020.

Mimosa, 2nd-brightest in Southern Cross

To see Mimosa, you need to be at the latitude of New Orleans, Hawaii, Cairo or New Delhi. From the Southern Hemisphere, Mimosa is a prominent and beloved star.

Cancer? Here’s your constellation

Here’s how to find the constellation Cancer in your sky. Plus Cancer’s place in sky history, lore and science.

Come to know the Big and Little Dippers

The Big Dipper is easy. And, once you find it, you can find the Little Dipper, too.

Mizar and Alcor, famous double star

Mizar and its fainter companion star Alcor are easy to spot in the Big Dipper’s handle.

Watch the sun’s shift on your horizon

Looking for an easy, but profound, sky activity? Note how far the sunset moves on your horizon, as spring shifts toward summer, or autumn toward winter, on your part of the globe.

Three sun tracks from noon to sunset: summer solstice, equinox, winter solstice.

March equinox: All you need to know

The 2020 equinox comes March 20 at 03:50 UTC. That’s tonight – the night of March 19 – according to clocks in North America. Happy spring (or fall), y’all.

Is Sirius the most luminous star?

It’s the brightest star in Earth’s sky, so spectacularly bright that you might see glints of different colors radiating from it. But is Sirius so bright because it’s an extremely powerful star?

The front of a pair of binoculars.

Top tips for binocular stargazing

Whether you’re a beginning stargazer or a veteran of thousands of starry nights, binoculars can be your best friend.

Why 2020 is an awesome year for Mars

Right now, Mars is in the east before sunup. It’s getting brighter, but is still much fainter than mighty Jupiter, which is near it on the sky’s dome. But just wait. 2020 will be a great year to see Mars! Here’s why.

Are day and night equal at the equinox?

Equinox means “equal night.” And you might hear that day and night are equal at the equinoxes. Yet Earth’s atmosphere and our sun conspire to give us more day than night at an equinox.

What is the gegenschein?

The sun’s counterglow – or gegenschein – is kind of a stargazers’ legend. What is it, and how can you see it? Erwin Matys and Karoline Mrazek of Project Nightflight explain.

It’s time to watch for the zodiacal light

The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon. This is a good time of year to see it in the evening from the Northern Hemisphere. Southern Hemisphere, look before dawn!

A ball of stars: globular cluster M13

What is a globular cluster?

Globular clusters are spherical collections of up to perhaps a million stars, orbiting mostly in the star halo of spiral galaxies, containing some of a galaxy’s oldest stars.

A basket full of colored Easter eggs.

When is Easter in 2020?

In 2020, Easter Sunday will fall on April 12. How the date of Easter is determined, here.