Equinox sun is over Earth’s equator

At an equinox, and for several days before and after, the midday sun is straight up at noon seen from Earth’s equator. At this equinox, the sun is crossing the celestial equator, moving from north to south.

Here are 2 easy ways to find the Andromeda galaxy

The Andromeda galaxy is the closest big galaxy to our Milky Way. Here are 2 different ways to find it, both easy if you have a dark sky!

Star map of Cassiopeia the Queen.

Close-up on Cassiopeia the Queen

The constellation Cassiopeia the Queen has the distinct shape of a W or M. Find her in the north-northeast sky on September and October evenings.

Every visible star is within Milky Way

When you look up on a starry evening, you might think you’re looking across the universe. In fact, all the stars we see with the unaided eye belong to our Milky Way galaxy.

See Messier 20, the Trifid Nebula

If you have an extremely dark sky, you can see the nebula on as a fuzzy patch in the Milky Way. Binoculars show more … and a telescope still more.

Use the Big Dipper to find the North Star

The 2 outermost stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper always point to Polaris, the North Star.

The moon swings above the constellation Scorpius and theourhg the constellation Ophiuchus on August 26, 2020.

Ophiuchus is part of the zodiac, too

Poor Ophiuchus. Nobody ever claims him as a “birth sign,” although the sun moves in front of his stars from about November 30 to December 18. Keep the big guy company. Find Ophiuchus in your sky tonight!

A star field showing brighter blue stars concentrated at the center, with a sparser scattering of fainter reddish, yellow, and blue stars.across the image.

Messier 11 is the Wild Duck Cluster

Messier 11 is a faint cluster of stars in a star-rich region of the night sky, in the direction of the heart of our Milky Way galaxy.

Born under the sign of Ophiuchus?

Born between November 29 and December 18? If so, the sun passes in front of Ophiuchus on your birthday.

Andromeda galaxy.

Great Square points to Andromeda galaxy

The Andromeda galaxy can be seen somewhere in our sky for much of every year. Every August, it’s ascending in the sky during the evening hours. This post explains how to use the Great Square of Pegasus to find the Andromeda galaxy.

Sagittarius? Here’s your constellation

How to find Sagittarius on August evenings, plus the lore and science of this constellation.

Top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

How to watch a meteor shower. Tips for beginners.

Deneb is distant and very luminous

When you gaze at the bright star Deneb, you’re gazing across thousands of light-years of space.

Find M4 near the Scorpion’s Heart

If you’ve never found a deep-sky object on your own before, M4 – a globular star cluster, one of the nearest to our solar system – is a grand place to start. It’s near the bright red star Antares in the easy-to-spot constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. To spot it, you’ll need a dark sky.

Towering plumes of gas and dust with stars in background.

The awesome beauty of the Eagle Nebula

The Eagle Nebula – aka Messier 16 or M16 – is home to several well-known cosmic structures, including the stunning Pillars of Creation and Stellar Spire.

How to find Delta Aquariid radiant point

How to spot the radiant point for the Delta Aquariid meteor shower, going on now. Plus … why meteors in annual showers have radiant points.

An image of the night sky featuring M6 and M7 near Shaula and Lesath. In the foreground, firefly light trails appear in the silhouette of trees and over water.

M6 and M7 in the Scorpion’s Tail

Messier 6 and Messier 7 are star clusters near Scorpius’ stinger. But you’ll need a dark sky to see these faint but stunning stellar aggregations.

Northern Cross: Backbone of Milky Way

On summer evenings, look for this star pattern in the east, sideways to the horizon.

Image of a star field showing two bright stars, Epsilon Lyrae 1 and Epsilon Lyrae 2.

Epsilon Lyrae is the famous Double Double star

To the unaided eye, Epsilon Lyrae, in the constellation Lyra, appears as one star. But it’s actually a star system with at least five stars.

Summer Triangle and smallest constellations

You need a dark country sky to see these 3 small constellations: Vulpecula the Fox, Delphinus the Dolphin and Sagitta the Arrow.