In a quartet of high-quality videos, Sky & Telescope editors offer newcomers solid, objective tips on how to buy, use, equip, and care for new telescopes.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has detected both methane in Mars’s atmosphere and carbon-bearing organic compounds in its rocks. But it’s unclear where these molecules come from — or whether there’s any biological connection.
NASA’s MAVEN mission has discovered a new population of particles in Mars’s upper atmosphere. It’s also found a plume of particles escaping from the planet’s poles, confirming atmospheric loss is happening today.
A new Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, is heading our way. It may brighten to 5th magnitude from late December through much of January as it climbs into excellent viewing position for the Northern Hemisphere, high in the dark winter sky.
Calendars help us plan our lives. And for amateur astronomers, no plan is complete unless it includes sky events.
An early outcome from Rosetta's scrutiny of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is that the isotopes in its water have distinctly different ratios than those on Earth.
The Geminids, a meteor shower sparked by dust and debris shed from a small asteroid, peaks this weekend.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft spent 14 months photographing Vesta from close range. Now geologists have completed a global map of the asteroid's surface geology.
Right on cue, New Horizons spacecraft has awakened from its final electronic hibernation. Seven months from now, it will make the first-ever visit to Pluto.
On December 5th, NASA successfully launched the first test flight of its Orion capsule. Scheduled to carry astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit in the 2020s, the spacecraft is NASA’s first deep-space people transporter since the Apollo days.
The annual Geminid meteor shower, one of the best shooting-star displays each year, returns to our skies late this week. Despite interference from moonlight, plenty of bright meteors should still shine through.
Orphaned black hole or weird supernova? A mysterious source of radiation has left astronomers contemplating exotic explanations.
Japan's second asteroid-sample mission launched successfully on December 3rd after weather delays. If successful it will reach asteroid 1999 JU3 in 2018, explore for 18 months, and then return to Earth with souvenirs.
Last year the University of California ordered its astronomers to make historic Lick Observatory self-supporting by 2018. Now there's been a change of heart, and the university will continue to pay for its operation.
Our monthly podcast offers the key highlights for stargazing in December: where to find bright stars and planets — and how to spot the Geminid meteor shower.
A newly processed image from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft shows Europa’s breathtaking beauty and tortured surface in greater detail than ever before.
Amateur astronomers have confirmed the presence of a large, bright storm cloud on the ice giant Uranus.
Watch an asteroid approach a star and block its light, all in a fraction of a second.
Despite rescue efforts, no one has heard from one of two NASA spacecraft on the far side of the Sun since October 1st.
A bizarre set of galaxies in the Coma Cluster have lost most of their stars (or star-making material), making them especially rich in dark matter.
Scientists think they've figured out what causes the mysterious ruddy coloring in the giant planet's enormous oval storm.
With its battery power failing, Philae became the "little lander than could" and managed to return results from all 10 of its science instruments before slipping into hibernation.
After free-falling toward Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for seven hours, ESA's Philae lander bounced on the surface twice before finally coming to rest.
A fresh look at a nagging problem — asteroids moving in comet-like orbits — concludes that asteroids must make up about 4% of the vast, distant Oort Cloud of comets. When a telescope atop Hawaii's Haleakala swept up a fast-moving object in August 1996, astronomers didn't know what to make of it. Designated 1996...
Have you ever spotted the glow of a “false dawn”? Now astronomers have spotted a similar zodiacal light around nine nearby stars.