Explore the Night with Bob King

Follow Bob King as he explores the mysteries awaiting us in the night sky. An amateur astronomer since childhood, long-time member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), and community educator, King posts every week on topics ranging from the near to the very far. Start aurora-watching, exoplanet-imagining, and peer deeper into the Pleiades than you ever have before.

King takes us on an adventure every week — all you’ll need to do is look up.

Bright Supernova Erupts in NGC 5643 in Lupus

A recently discovered supernova in Lupus now shines around magnitude +11.5, bright enough to see in a modest telescope. With photos and maps, we'll get you there. I wished I lived in Georgia and not just for the peach trees and warmer weather. No, I'd be able to get up early tomorrow morning to marvel at…

Three Crescents and a Sinking Comet

Three Crescents and a Sinking Comet

If you're crazy about crescents, you'll find your happy place this week between the Moon and Venus. Meanwhile, we shift our focus from 45P/H-M-P to another famous periodic comet, 2P/Encke.

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Supermoon and Geminids Duke it Out

In a spectacular case of bad timing, the full Moon coincides with the annual Geminid meteor shower. Don't feel put out. There's still something for everyone, including a consolation prize.

Quasar Footprint

Quasar CTA 102: Historically Bright, Violently Variable

The normally faint quasar CTA 102, once thought to harbor an advanced civilization and made famous in a 1967 song by the Byrds, is currently bright enough to see in an 8-inch telescope.  In the history of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, there have been two great false alarms. The first occurred in 1963…