Equal day and night on the equinox?

There is more daylight than nighttime on the day of the equinox, an additional 8 or so minutes of daylight at mid-temperate latitudes.

Pyramid-shaped hazy band of zodiacal light, next to a bright section of the starry Milky Way.

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 the year to see it in the evening from the Northern Hemisphere. Southern Hemisphere, look before dawn!

Earth globe centered on North America, with yellow ribbons wrapped around its surface labeled with dates.

When is the next total solar eclipse in North America?

Did you see the awe-inspiring total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017? Millions across North America witnessed it. When and where will the next North American total solar eclipse take place? Turns out … it’s sooner than you might think.

Blue-colored mass of swirling gas, with jets extending from the center.

What is a quasar?

A quasar is an extremely bright and distant point-like source visible to radio telescopes. The source is a so-called Active Galactic Nucleus, fueled by a supermassive black hole.

Bright stars on very dense star field, with one small, bright, fuzzy patch.

Best observing targets for binoculars

What are the best solar system and deep-sky objects to view to get the most out of your binoculars? From moon-encircled worlds to starry knots in the Milky Way, our list makes the sky’s wonders easy to find.

5 images of the waxing moon tilting over 4 hours.

Do we all see the same moon phase?

No matter where you are on the globe, we all see the same moon. So why do photos from a distant location sometimes look different from what you’re seeing?

What is the Milky Way?

When someone says “Milky Way,” do you think of the starry pathway across our sky, or of the great pinwheel-shaped galaxy in space? Both are correct!

A nearly full reddish Mars seen from orbit, with a giant dark slash covering near a whole hemisphere.

Today is New Year’s Day on Mars

Mars Year 36 begins on February 7, 2021. If you’re looking for a reason to celebrate, here’s to a Happy New Year … on Mars.

Five panels with blue and white Earth nearing the horizon and gone in the last panel.

What does Earth look like from outer space?

If you considered only Earth’s brightness, you could still see our world from as far away as the orbit of the 8th planet, Neptune. In practice, though, from that distance, Earth would be lost in the sun’s glare. How does Earth look from space? Spacecraft photos tell the tale.

Comet with tail upward in a sunset sky.

What’s the difference between asteroids and comets?

Asteroids and comets are generally composed of different stuff. They both orbit our sun, but, for the most part, reside in different parts of our solar system. Yet some rare objects display characteristics of both asteroids and comets.