Star Clusters

In Our Skies, July 2024

In Our Skies, July 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive July 2 and 26 Pleiades will be very close to the Moon—less than .5°. July 22 Mercury will be at its greatest elongation east of the sun, meaning it will...

Corona Borealis and Serpens Caput

Corona Borealis and Serpens Caput

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive A little semicircle of stars known as Corona Borealis sits high overhead in the early summer sky. Corona Borealis, or the Northern Crown, lies just west...

Cancer

Cancer

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive Cancer, the Crab, is a mid-sized constellation that lies just east of Gemini and just west of Leo. Cancer is made up solely of dim stars, and its shape is...

Gemini

Gemini

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive M35 and NGC 2158. Photo © Scott Rosen. Gemini, the twins, lies northeast of Orion along the band of the Milky Way. The most obvious part of Gemini is the...

Orion

Orion

Horsehead Nebula. Photo © Kevin & Adrian Shank. Orion, the Hunter, is one of the most well-known constellations in the night sky. Most of its popularity comes from the fact that it is made up...

Perseus

Perseus

Double Cluster, NGC 869 & NGC 884. Photo © Boris Stromar|Dreamstime.com. To the ancient Greeks, the stars of Perseus represented a hero. To me, this constellation bears little resemblance to a...

Andromeda

Andromeda

Andromeda Galaxy, M31. Photo © Shaphan Shank. Andromeda is one of those ideal constellations that is easy to find, and that contains a wide variety of outstanding telescopic targets. The main part...

Deep Sky Surprises

Deep Sky Surprises

M78. Photo © Dogwood Ridge. Anxiously I scanned the sky as I stepped outside the door. Supper was over, and I was headed to the barn to do some chores. Darkness was falling across the valley, and...

Lacerta

Lacerta

Lacerta, the Lizard, is a small and little-known constellation that lies along the band of the Milky Way right between the constellations Cygnus and Cassiopeia. Although its stars are all rather...

Aquarius

Aquarius

Helix Nebula, NGC 7293. Photo © Allexxandar/Dreamstime.com. Aquarius is a sprawling constellation that stretches across nearly 40° of the southern sky on autumn evenings. This constellation lies...

Aquila

Aquila

Aquila, the Eagle, is a mid-sized constellation that lies right along the summer Milky Way just south of the zenith on September evenings in the mid-northern latitudes. Altair, the brightest star of...

Hercules

Hercules

M13. Photo © Reinhold Wittich/Dreamstime.com. Hercules, the Strongman, is a large constellation that lies straight east of Bootes, the constellation we focused on last month. If you imagine a line...

Bootes

Bootes

M3. Photo © Reinhold Wittich/Dreamstime.com. Bootes lies nearly straight overhead on June evenings in the Northern Hemisphere. This constellation is relatively easy to find, not only because of its...

Coma Berenices

Coma Berenices

M64 On May evenings, our planet is turned so that we are looking out the side of the Milky Way instead of looking edgewise through its arms. This orientation means that there are few star clusters...

Canis Major

Canis Major

Canis Major, the Great Dog, lies in the southern sky just southeast of Orion. Like Orion, many of the stars that make up Canis Major are bright. The constellation’s brightest star, Sirius, is the...