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Star of the week: Deneb Kaitos

Look for Deneb Kaitos – brightest star in Cetus the Whale – highest in the sky around mid-evening.

Orionid meteor shower peak tonight!

This weekend is an awesome time to look for meteors in the annual Orionid shower. They’ll probably most prolific in the hours before dawn on October 21.

Bright star Deneb transits at nightfall

When the sun or a star transits, it’s at its highest in the sky. Deneb’s transit at nightfall marks a shift toward winter – or summer – depending on where you are.

Watch for zodiacal light, or false dawn

Watch for this eerie light about 2 hours before sunrise in the Northern Hemisphere. From the Southern Hemisphere, watch for it after sunset.

Schedar lies at the Queen’s heart

Cassiopeia the Queen is one of the easiest-to-recognize constellations, having the shape of an M or W, Schedar is the Queen’s brightest star.

Meet the Double Cluster in Perseus

The Double Cluster in the constellation Perseus is a breathtaking pair of star clusters, each containing supergiant suns. How to find it in your sky.

Last quarter moon and Gemini stars

Stay up late to see them, or get up before dawn, when the moon, Castor and Pollux will be high in the sky as seen from across the globe.

Tonight, find the Andromeda galaxy

The Andromeda galaxy is the closest big galaxy to our Milky Way. Here are a couple of different ways to find it. Just be sure your sky is dark!

Moon’s lit side points to Aldebaran

Watch the moon travel toward Aldebaran in our sky’s dome, throughout the night of October 8. Then come back a night later, and see how far the moon has moved.

This weekend, watch for the Draconids!

No one expects a Draconid meteor storm this year, but it’s fun to watch and see.

Find the Draconid radiant point

You don’t have to identify a meteor shower’s radiant point to watch the show. But the radiant of the Draconids is fun to find! Here are some ways to do it.

Watch after sunrise for a daytime moon

As it orbits Earth once a month, the moon is up during the day half the time, pale against the blue sky. You can see it this weekend, if you look.

Alpheratz is part of the Great Square

Finding the star Alpheratz can help you spot the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest large spiral galaxy to Earth.

Aquarius? Here’s your constellation

Look for Aquarius the Water Bearer this month. How to find it, its famous Water Jar asterism, plus a few stories from the ancient myths.

On October 5, the Harvest Moon

The Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the September equinox. It’s tonight! Watch for it.

Watch for Sirius, sky’s brightest star

Out 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.

Orange Arcturus sparkles after sunset

On October evenings, look for brilliant Arcturus in the west, flashing in colors. Follow the curve in the Big Dipper’s handle to this yellow-orange star.

Can you find the Big Dipper?

From 41 degrees N. – and farther north – the Big Dipper is circumpolar, meaning it never sets. But from more southerly latitudes, the Dipper is below your horizon each evening now. Want to see it? Here’s how.

Moon’s near side is its dark side

Believe it or not, the moon’s near side is its dark side, thanks to a collection of low-lying lunar plains, solidified remnants of ancient seas of molten magma.

Meet Fomalhaut, the loneliest star

Go outside around mid-evening – and learn to keep company with the loneliest star.