Night Sky

perseid meteor shower aug 2020

2020 Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight

The Perseid meteor shower -- one of the best and brightest of the year -- is set to peak in the late hours of Tuesday into Thursday, August 11 into 13. This is one of the most anticipated showers of the year, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. This year,...

August 11, 2020

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Once in a lifetime: Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) shines bright, joins the ISS and noctilucent clouds - observing tips, live show

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) has survived its close encounter with the Sun and is currently observable from the northern hemisphere with the naked eye. To receive this celestial gift, get up before dawn, look to the NNE and see it before the Sun takes over, or wait a...

July 08, 2020

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Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) now seen by naked eye, set to make closest approach to Earth on July 23

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) is set to make its closest approach to Earth on July 23, 2020, when it will pass at a distance of 0.69 AU. Some experienced observers under clear skies have already reported spotting the comet with the naked eye. The comet was discovered on...

July 07, 2020

annular solar eclipse may 10 2013 f

'Ring of Fire' annular solar eclipse to grace the skies soon after the solstice

An annular solar eclipse will take place on Sunday, June 21, 2020. This is one of the most breathtaking celestial events when the Moon partially obscures the Sun, allowing a "ring of fire" on its edges. The eclipse will start several hours after the...

June 19, 2020

comet swan may 2 2020 damian peach

Powerful outburst from Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN)

Astronomers monitoring Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) spotted a powerful outburst from the comet on May 5. Such outbursts usually indicate a fragmentation, but scientists are hopeful that this could just be a volatile comet. The comet is approaching Earth and the Sun-- its...

May 08, 2020

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Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) rapidly brightening, now visible to naked eye

Approaching Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) has become bright enough that it is already visible to the naked eye. As of 14:30 UTC on April 30, 2020, the comet is 115 million km (71 million miles) away from Earth, with a magnitude of 6.0. The comet appears like a bright fuzz...

April 30, 2020

atlas fragments april 29 2020

Hubble telescope captures comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) crumbling into 25 pieces

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest view of Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS disintegrating into pieces. About 30 fragments were identified on April 20, but just three days later on April 23, the telescope spotted only 25. "Their appearance...

April 29, 2020

lyrid meteor shower ft img 2 april 18 2020

Lyrid meteor shower peaks April 21 to 22, viewing conditions nearly perfect this year

The Lyrid meteor shower will peak late Tuesday into Wednesday morning, April 21 to 22, 2020. The thin crescent Moon will allow observers to get a clear view of the event as there will be no obstruction. The shower comes after the so-called meteor drought that...

April 20, 2020

comet atlas april 16 2020 ft img

Tracking down the comets - C/2020 F8 (SWAN), C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) and C/2017 T2 (PanSTARRS)

Although Comet Atlas (C/2019 Y4) continues fading and fragmenting, newly-found comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) has been found to be brightening firmly. Meanwhile, C/2017 T2 (PanSTARRS) is holding steady at 8th magnitude and a new Comet Atlas -- C/2019 Y1 -- discovered on...

April 17, 2020

atlas ft img april 12 2020

Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) disintegrates, at least three fragments recorded

Newly-discovered comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) has broken up before its much-anticipated show, with at least three fragments observed on Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12, 2020. ATLAS was discovered on December 28, 2019, in the constellation of Ursa Major. Over the...

April 13, 2020

night sky guide april 2020

Night Sky Guide for April 2020

April 1 - Moon at First Quarter - 10:21 UTC. The Moon will be prominent in the evening sky. At this time in its monthly cycle of phases, it appears almost exactly half illuminated. April 2 - M104 well placed for observation. The sombrero galaxy (M104, NGC 4594) will...

April 01, 2020

atlas march 26 2020 5 ft img

Approaching comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) rapidly brightening-- may be visible to naked eye soon

A newly-discovered comet named C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) is now crossing the orbit of Mars as it makes its way toward the Sun. The object has been brightening so rapidly since its discovery on December 28, 2019, that some astronomers believe it will be visible to the naked...

March 26, 2020

satellite constellation affects space observations march 6 2020

ESO study looks into impact of mega satellite constellations on space observations

A new study commissioned by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) evaluated the effects of mega-constellations on astronomical observations and scientific research as astronomers recently expressed concerns over its impact. The research considered a total of 18...

March 08, 2020

night sky guide march 2020

Night Sky Guide for March 2020

March 2 - Moon at First Quarter - 19:58 UTC. The Moon will be prominent in the evening sky, setting around midnight. At this time in its monthly cycle of phases, it appears almost exactly half illuminated. Over the coming days, the Moon will set later each day,...

March 01, 2020

february 8 2020 supermoon virtual telescope online observations

First Supermoon of the year - live show on February 8

The Virtual Telescope Project will bring us live views of the first Supermoon of the year on February 8, 2020, as it rises above the unique skyline of Rome. The online, free session will start at 16:00 UTC. Supermoon is a popular term indicating a Full Moon or a New...

February 07, 2020

night sky guide february 2020 f2

Night Sky Guide for February 2020

February 1 - IC2395 well placed for observation. Across much of the world, the open star cluster IC2395 in Vela will be well placed for observation. It will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time. At a declination of -48°09', it is...

February 01, 2020

space debris los angeles january 2020

Space debris entry recorded over Los Angeles, California

A piece of space junk, possibly parts of Delta II rocket launched back in 1989, entered Earth's atmosphere at around 06:23 UTC on January 30, 2020, and disintegrated over Los Angeles, California. The event lasted up to 20 seconds. It was recorded from Los...

January 30, 2020