Big Dipper stars point to North Star

The 2 outermost stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper always point to the North Star, aka Polaris. That's why astronomers call these stars The Pointers.

See a celestial Chariot in December

The constellation Auriga the Charioteer also has several easy-to-find and very famous star clusters that you can spot with binoculars.

Cassiopeia, Queen of the north

Cassiopeia - sometimes called The Lady of the Chair - is famous for having the shape of a telltale W or M.

Blue Moon and red Mars on Halloween

The full moon of October 31, 2020 is the second full moon of a calendar month and therefore carries the name Blue Moon. It's also the smallest full moon of 2020. And it's near red Mars! Watch for it.

Moon and Mars meet in late October

Use the bright waxing gibbous moon to find the red planet Mars in late October 2020. This is the brightest that you'll see Mars for another 15 years!

Watch for Earth’s shadow and the Belt of Venus

Look east after sunset - or west before sunrise - for Earth's shadow. It's a deep blue-grey band, curved as Earth is curved, moving opposite the sun. The Belt of Venus is the subtle pink band above the shadow.

Watch for Sirius, sky’s brightest star

Out late at night or before dawn? Look for Sirius, a brilliant beauty of a star. You'll always know it's Sirius if you see Orion's Belt pointing to it.

Watch Capella flashing red and green

A bright star twinkling with red and green flashes, low in the northeastern sky on October evenings, is probably Capella.

Moon sweeps by Jupiter and Saturn October 21 to 23

These next several evenings - October 21, 22 and 23, 2020 - watch for the waxing moon to sweep by the gas giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn.

Orionid meteors 2020 peak the morning of October 21

The Orionid meteor shower will peak around mid-week, with the best morning likely being Wednesday, October 21.