Astronomers have discovered one of the brightest quasars in the early universe. The source, SDSS J010013.02+280225.8 (hereafter J0100+2802), is powered by a supermassive black hole at a redshift of 6.3, meaning that its light left it 12.8 billion years ago.
Follow Comet Lovejoy high overhead while you still can. Use our February finder chart below. The comet is fading more slowly than expected.
Two total lunar eclipses occur this year, on April 4th and September 27−28. Meanwhile, a total solar eclipse in March sweeps across remote Arctic waters on March 20th, and a partial event on September 13th is likewise poorly placed for observing. Any list of nature's grandest spectacles would certainly include eclipses of the Sun...
An anomalous “cloud” imaged by amateurs in 2012 has puzzled astronomers, spurring some to suggest it was at inexplicably high altitudes above Mars’s surface.
A red dwarf and its brown dwarf companion buzzed through the outer Oort Cloud some 70,000 years ago, around the time when modern humans began migrating from Africa into Eurasia.
Donald C. Parker, a planetary imaging pioneer, passed away in Miami, Florida on February 22, 2015.
Cepheid variable stars are helping astronomers see what our galaxy looks like from within.
Satellite imagery and other datasets come together to show our home planet from mountaintop to ocean bottom.
New observations of the Teacup Galaxy show that even black holes with wimpy radio jets can quench a galaxy's star formation. An unassuming nearby galaxy nicknamed The Teacup (more formally known as J1430+1339) hides a tempest inside. The supermassive black hole at this galaxy's center is chowing down furiously on gas — seen from...
Scientists studying ice here on Earth think they’ve confirmed why comets have hard crusts covered in hydrocarbon gunk.
This image series, taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in late January 2015, reveals the dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, orbiting their common center of mass.
Earth's two closest planetary neighbors draw strikingly close together this week.
Astronomers have taken a behind-the-scenes look at a set of dense gas clumps, catching a quadruple star system in the fleeting act of formation.
The Planck team has finally released its full-mission data, revealing a remarkably detailed view of our universe and our galaxy.
Jupiter reaches opposition on February 6, 2015. Find out how to see the planet king at its best.
Astronomers have confirmed that the star J1407 seems to have a companion with a gigantic, gap-ridden ring, inside which an “exomoon” might be forming.
The long-awaited analysis of spiraling polarization patterns called B-modes affirms that these signals, purportedly from the universe’s post-birth inflation, are probably from dust in our galaxy instead.
Thanks to the help of the general public, astronomers have discovered a new signature marking a hidden phase of star formation.
Yes, it was too good to be true. The cosmic "discovery of the century" last March has officially blown up. Or will blow up next week when a new analysis of polarization in the cosmic microwave background is officially released. The excitement burst onto the world 10 months ago when the BICEP microwave background...
Some of the prettiest nighttime sights involve the close pairing of two solar-system bodies, and February features events with the Moon and Jupiter, then Venus and Mars.
The new Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, should brighten from 5th to 4th magnitude from late December through January as it climbs into excellent viewing position for the Northern Hemisphere, high in the dark winter sky.
Citizen scientists are exploring exoplanets’ birthplaces, classifying more than 1 million infrared sources and finding 37 disk candidates (so far) for follow-up study.
Astronomers have potentially confirmed a five-planet exoplanet system around an 11-billion-year-old star in our galaxy.
The magnetic fields in the asteroid parent bodies of two pallasite meteorites lasted hundreds of millions of years after our solar system’s formation.
Sky & Telescope's year-at-a-glance guide to celestial happenings is a symphony of detailed calculations and clear, elegant design.