Bright Venus

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Venus is approaching Earth and reaches its peak brightness during the first weeks of December. It is visible in broad daylight (if you know where to look) and at night it is actually casting shadows. The next few moonless nights are good times to look for delicate Venus shadows. Visit for observing tips and more information.

Sunspot surprise


In a span of only 24 hours, sunspot 826 has grown from a barely-visible speck into a Saturn-sized active region, and it is still growing. This large sunspot is crackling with low-level solar flares and may soon pose a threat for a major eruption. Readers who own a safely-filtered solar telescope will want to monitor this sunspot; it is changing by the hour. Or visit to view up-to-date images and movies.