Jupiter

Tonight's brightest star isn't a star at all.

Scorpius

A good view of the southern sky tonight will show you a lethal predator... and a planetary rival.

Crescent Evening Moon

This weekend's western sky shows off a crescent evening moon.

Vega, Deneb, and Altair

This large triangle sweeps overhead all Summer.

Antares

Jupiter points to one of the largest stars in the night sky.

Moon and Jupiter

The full moon and a very bright Jupiter pair up Sunday night.

The moon is amazing with even a little magnification.

Dust off that old telescope! Any telescope will do. I'm Matt Pelsor... and this is your weekend sky report. You don't need anything fancy to enjoy the moon. Even an old toy telescope should give you a surprisingly good view. And never underestimate the power of binoculars either. This weekend the moon is moving through the waxing crescent phase. It'll be a first quarter moon on Sunday night. A partial moon is so much more fun to look at than a full moon. The shadow accentuates textures. Craters seem deeper, mountains seem taller. And the shadow moves each night to reveal new features. It's easier to appreciate just how big the moon is. And as you look at it, it's also fun to know what you're looking at. Since the eastern side of the moon will be illuminated, the four easternmost "seas" will be visible all weekend. And I love the names of the moon's seas. There's the the Sea of Fertility to the south, and the Sea of Crises to the north. Further in is the smaller Sea of Nectar, and north of that is the Sea of Tranquility... the landing site for Apollo 11. All four will be visible all weekend, and the northern Sea of Serenity will be visible Sunday night. Also, the south pole is heavily cratered, so there's lots of texture to appreciate there as well. Look to the western sky in the evening to find the moon this weekend. If you're more of a full moon person, just wait until Father's Day when the full moon will be low to the southeast, right next to a very bright Jupiter. I'm Matt Pelsor. Happy Skywatching.

Lyra and the Ring Nebula

Use bright Vega to find an ancient constellation.

Use the Big Dipper to identify two bright evening stars.

And now for two bright stars... and how to find them. I'm Matt Pelsor, and this is your Weekend Sky Report. Arcturus and Spica are two of the brightest stars in the northern hemisphere, so they're not hard to see... but if you're new to Astronomy, you can use this mnemonic device to find them: Arc to Arcturus, and Spike to Spica. Here's what I mean... First, find the Big Dipper, then follow the curve of the handle, or arc that it makes to bright orange-white Arcturus. From there, continue that same direction, but with a more laser-straight line to bluish white Spica. Arc to Arcturus, then spike to Spica. Arcturus is just slightly more massive than our sun, but it's more than 25 times larger, and more than 150 times brighter. This is because it has entered the next stage of its life... all of its core hydrogen has been used up and it's puffed up to many times its original size. The same thing will happen to our sun in a few billion years. Spica makes up the right hand of the constellation Virgo. In some interpretations, it represents an ear of wheat in Virgo's right hand. It's easily the brightest star in the constellation... and actually, it's two stars. Spica is a spectroscopic binary... meaning it's two stars that are so close together, you can't split them with a telescope. Because they're so close, they orbit each other very quickly. Each orbit takes only 4 days. What's more, the gravitational forces each star has on the other makes them more egg-shaped than spherical. But again, you won't be able to tell that from looking at it through a telescope. When you find Spica, you'll be looking at a star almost 2000 times brighter than our sun. I'm Matt Pelsor... happy skywatching.

Full Moon

It's a full moon this weekend...so what are we seeing when we look at the moon?

Quarter Moon

The moon returns to the evening sky this weekend.

Messier 92

Use Vega to find that other globular cluster in Hercules.

Messier 3

Arcturus leads us to one of the oldest objects in the galaxy.

Big Dipper

Test your eyesight with the Big Dipper.

M87 Galaxy

See the galaxy that gave us our first look at a black hole.

Coma Star Cluster

Use Arcturus to find this big star cluster.

Messier 41

Bright Sirius marks an easy-to-find deep sky object.

Beehive Cluster

There's a brilliant star cluster hiding in Cancer, The Crab.

Bellatrix

Celebrate International Women's Day by looking up this weekend.

Orion Nebula

Observe a stellar nursery from your own backyard.

Uranus

This weekend, use Mars to find an outer planet.

Gemini

Gemini gives us six stars in one, and you can split them with your telescope.

Planet Mars

Find the red planet in the Western sky this evening.

Winter Triangle (Sirius)

The brightest star in the sky leads us to the Winter Triangle.