Moon inside Winter Circle.

Identify stars in the Winter Circle

Go outside, and look for the waxing gibbous moon tonight. Then notice the stars nearby. Tonight’s moon is within the Winter Circle stars.

Look for Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper

Watch the celestial clock and its 2 great big hour hands – Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper – as they swing around the North Star every night!

How to find the Winter Hexagon or Winter Circle

The brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter sky form the shape of a large hexagon, or circle, that will help you locate 6 constellations.

See a faint star cluster near bright Sirius

Sirius is easy to find. It’s the sky’s brightest star. If you have binoculars and a dark location, look near it for the star cluster M41.

Say hello to Sirius, a future South Pole Star

Wait, what? It’s true. The sky’s brightest star, Sirius aka the Dog Star, will come to within 1.6 degrees of the south celestial pole in the year 66270.

2021’s Quadrantid meteors: All you need to know

In a dark sky, you might see 25 meteors per hour at the Quadrantid’s peak, or more. Here’s how to watch.

The V-shaped head of Taurus the Bull.

Bull’s head: The Hyades star cluster

Meet the bright star Aldebaran, part of a V-shaped pattern of stars called the Hyades. This easy-to-find star cluster represents the face of Taurus the Bull.

Look for the Northern Cross

It isn’t as famous as its counterpart, the Southern Cross. But the Northern Cross looks like a cross, and it’s pretty easy to spot. You’ll find it upright in the west on late December evenings.

The Large Magellanic Cloud, our galactic neighbor

The Large Magellanic Cloud is a petite galaxy visible with the unaided eye – all year round – for those in the Southern Hemisphere. This small neighboring galaxy to the Milky Way is somewhere between spiral and irregular in shape.

Geminid meteors best on December 13-14

The shower is best around 2 a.m., but watch from late evening until dawn. The best morning is likely December 14, 2020.

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.

A beach at sunset, a stone arch on one side and streaky clouds above.

Earliest sunsets for 40 degrees N. around now

Earliest sunsets for 30 degrees N. were centered on late November and early December. Earliest sunsets at mid-northern latitudes are happening now. S. Hemisphere? Watch for your earliest sunrises.

Orion the Hunter and the Milky Way

The constellation Orion is very easy to find. If you have a dark sky, you can also see the luminous band of the Milky Way running behind it.

An image of Schedar with faint stars scattered in the background.

Schedar shines brightly at the Queen’s heart

Orange-hued Schedar is the brightest star in the distinctive W-shaped northern constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.

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.

Summer Triangle in northern autumn

In late November and early December, look west in the evening for the Summer Triangle. It’s made of the 3 bright stars – Vega, Deneb and Altair – in 3 different constellations.

Many streaks of light in sky above a waterfall.

All you need to know: 2020’s Leonid meteor shower

2020’s Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak on the morning of November 17, during the dark hours before dawn. Charts, tips and details here.

Leonid meteor shower is building to a peak

The peak of the Leonids is likely to be before sunup on November 17, 2020. But people already catching some Leonids. Keep an eye out this weekend.

Orion the Hunter now easy to view

At this time of year, the famous constellation Orion the Hunter is back in the evening sky! Its most recognizable feature is a short, straight line of 3 medium-bright stars.

Around now, watch for Taurid fireballs

Maybe you’ve been watching for them already. A nominal peak of the shower is November 4 and 5, and the North and South Taurids are overlapping now.