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From mysteriously quiet solar cycles to the evidence for Big Bang inflation, important stuff happens in astronomy. When it does, you can depend on Sky & Telescope’s editors and bloggers to keep you up to speed. We pride ourselves on our accurate, in-depth reporting of current astronomy news — instead of sound bites, we want to give you what you need to really understand the latest space events, whether they be observations from orbiters around Mars or the discovery of what’s to blame for powerful cosmic explosions. We talk to the experts, and then we talk to you.

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Comet-2014Q2_Rhemann_Nov-27-2014_489x274

Binocular Comet Lovejoy Heading Our Way

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.

Hayabusa 2 spacecraft

Hayabusa 2 is Asteroid Bound

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.

Lick's Great Refractor

Lick Observatory Gets a Reprieve

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.

1996 PW's comet-like orbit

Eight Billion Asteroids in the Oort Cloud?

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...