Astronomy for Beginners

An introduction to backyard astronomy for amateur stargazers.

How to Pick the Best Beginner Telescope

Picking out your first telescope can be overwhelming. This easy-to-follow guide will help you find the best telescope that you'll actually use.

What Is a Solar Eclipse? Your Questions Answered.

Your guide to total, partial, and annular eclipses: what causes them, what you'll see, and when the next one will happen.

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What's up this week

In the early evening, look for bright Jupiter with slightly dimmer Saturn to its left. Further to the east, Mars shines bright and reddish. In the predawn sky, Venus is unmistakable in the eastern sky.

Current sky chart, northern hemisphere
Current sky chart, northern hemisphere This chart shows constellations, planets, and bright stars visible an hour after sunset from the northern hemisphere for the week of 21 November 2020. Minneapolis, Minnesota (45 degrees north) is used as a reference city. Stellarium
Current sky chart, southern hemisphere
Current sky chart, southern hemisphere This chart shows constellations, planets, and bright stars visible an hour after sunset from the southern hemisphere for the week of 21 November 2020. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (23 degrees south) is used as a reference city. Stellarium

Need an interactive sky chart?
Check out Stellarium for web, desktop, Apple, or Android

What's next

13 and 14 December: Geminids Meteor Shower peaks

2 and 3 January: Quadrantids Meteor Shower peaks

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