What's in the Sky Tonight?


Video Tours of the Night Sky

Feb 2018
Jan 2018

The Orion Nebula is a “stellar nursery”, where new stars are being born in a cozy bed of elemental gases.

How to see Orion from your back yard

The constellation Orion, the Great Hunter of Greek mythology, dominates the winter sky. This constellation is among the easiest to recognize. It is full of young stars, dying stars, and many nebulae.

Betelgeuse, one of Orion’s “shoulders,” is a red supergiant star about 650 times bigger than the Sun. It shines with the brightness of tens of thousands of Suns. Betelgeuse is near the end of its life. With the fuel at the star’s core practically depleted, the core has contracted and heated, causing the outer gaseous layers of the star to swell.

Rigel, one of Orion’s “knees,” is a triple-star system made up of two smaller stars orbiting a blue supergiant. Rigel’s blue supergiant star has a short lifespan.

Jupiter rises in the east shortly after midnight, soon followed by Mars.

A mini telescope you can take anywhere

Our Favorite Astronomical Binoculars

Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter

$60 range

If you love sky gazing, you have to have a pair of astronomy binoculars! Binoculars are a fantastic alternative to telescopes—inexpensive, lightweight, and portable. For city dwellers where there is a lot of light pollution, binoculars are essential if you want to see much of anything.

Binoculars enlarge and brighten the beauty and immensity of the night sky. You can see the detail of the moon's craters, the phases of Venus, the moons and stripes of Jupiter, the awesome jewels that dot the Milky Way, nebulae, star clusters, and comets when they're passing near.

Our favorite astonomy binoculars is the Celestron SkGiyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars. These are excellent as well:


A year-round, real-time sky map

planisphere star locator mapA planisphere is a rotating star chart that allows you to dial in the entire visible sky for any day and time of the year and with great precision. It has been called an analog star computer and was considered magical in ancient times.

Planispheres show the brightest stars, constellations, notable galaxies and nebulae, as well as the path of the Milky Way. The plane of the ecliptic is also shown, which reveals the pathway of the planets as they appear to move across the night sky.


Orion 04110 Star Target Planisphere
Designed for use within 30 degrees North and 50 degrees North latitudes regardless of calendar year - shows locations of 100 star clusters, nebulas and galaxies.
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Night Sky® Star Wheel
Cardboard star wheel chart with moveable dial displays the positions of the stars at any time of the day and on any day of the year; shows only the brightest stars, anywhere between north latitudes 30 and 50.
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Guide to the Stars Map
This 16-inch diameter plastic Guide to the Stars chart can be used anywhere in the world between latitudes 30 and 60 degrees North.
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Star and Planet Locator Map
A roadmap of the night sky and accompanying booklet shows the location of stars, planets and constellations in your night sky when you dial in the exact hour and date.
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Firefly Planisphere: Latitude 42 Degrees North
Sturdy construction, smooth wheel rotation, easy-to-read booklet and protective pocket
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