Exploring Our Skies

Taurus

Taurus

View the February 2023 Nature Friend Study Guide The Pleiades. Photo © Shaphan Shank. Taurus, the Bull, is a distinctive constellation that lies just northwest of Orion, high in the evening sky in...

Triangulum and Aries

Triangulum and Aries

View the January Nature Friend Study Guide Triangulum and Aries are a pair of small constellations that lie south of Andromeda, between the Great Square of Pegasus and the Pleiades. Triangulum, the...

Cetus

Cetus

View the December Nature Friend Study Guide NGC 253. Photo © CC by 3.0. The southern sky is nearly devoid of bright stars on evenings in late autumn and early winter. Cetus, the Whale, is a...

Pegasus

Pegasus

View the November 2022 Nature Friend Study Guide M15. Photo © Hubble and NASA. Pegasus is one of the most familiar autumn constellations. The most prominent part of the constellation is a large...

Aquarius

Aquarius

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

Aquila

Aquila

Barnard's E. Photo © CC by SA-3.0 Aquila, the Eagle, is a mid-sized constellation that lies right along the summer Milky Way.The brightest star in Aquila is Altair. Two somewhat dimmer stars lie on...

Lyra

Lyra

Ring Nebula. Photo © NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScl/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Lyra, the Harp, is a small constellation that lies almost straight overhead on August evenings in the...

Ophichus

Ophichus

M12. Photo © Scott Rosen. Ophiuchus is a large constellation that lies high in the southern sky on midsummer evenings. This constellation lies just north of the constellation Scorpius and just west...

Draco

Draco

Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543). Photo © Scott Rosen. Draco, the Dragon, is a sprawling circumpolar constellation that wraps around the Little Dipper. The Dragon’s head is a small group of four stars...

Canes Venatici

Canes Venatici

Canes Venatici is a small constellation, consisting of only two stars. However, it is quite easy to find due to its location just south of the Big Dipper. Like many of the surrounding...

Ursa Major

Ursa Major

Ursa Major, the Great Bear, is a large constellation in the northern circumpolar region of the sky. Ursa Major is known best for the Big Dipper, which makes up the northeastern part of the...

Auriga

Auriga

IC 405, the Flaming Star Nebula, is an emission/reflection nebula in Auriga. While beautiful in photographs, it is quite faint and difficult to visually observe. Photo © Shaphan Shank. Auriga is not...