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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.

So if you’re looking for responsible science journalism, look no further: here you’ll find the facts behind the headlines.

The Sun rises due east and sets due west on the equinoxes in March and September. At other times of year it comes up and goes down somewhat to the north or south. This illustration is drawn for mid-Northern latitudes.

The 2014 Autumnal Equinox Arrives

Astronomically speaking, the fall season comes to the Northern Hemisphere on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 02:29 UTC (Monday, September 22 at 10:29 p.m. EDT). At that moment, the Sun passes over the Earth’s equator heading south; this event is called the autumnal equinox.

This image shows an artist concept of NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN)  spacecraft, which reached the Red Planet on September 21, 2014.Lockheed Martin

MAVEN Makes It to Mars

On September 21st, after a 33-minute-long rocket firing, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft slipped into orbit around the Red Planet.

Quasar illustration

The Quasar Main Sequence

A new diagram might link the diverse visible-light characteristics of quasars to two physical properties — essentially, their accretion rate and orientation. If the analysis holds up, it could point the way toward a long-sought unification.

Star before and after adaptive optics

Next-Gen Adaptive Optics

The Subaru Telescope has donned a new pair of glasses called Raven, a multi-object adaptive optics system that enables astronomers to correct for atmospheric turbulence over an unprecedented field of view.

InOMN logo

A Worldwide Night of Moonwatching

International Observe the Moon Night is an event that encourages people to "look up" and enjoy our nearest neighbor. This year's InOMN is Saturday, September 6th. Here's a quiz: What astronomical object looks amazing no matter what the magnification, never looks exactly the same no matter how often you view it, and can be...

local supercluster

Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster

Astronomers have mapped the cosmic watershed and discovered a massive supercluster that extends more than 500 million light-years and contains 100,000 large galaxies. The Milky Way sits on the edge of this humongous structure.

Autumn sky sights near Vega

Tour September’s Sky: Farewell to Saturn

The astronomical calendar says autumn arrives on September 22nd. It's a season of transition, with plenty of celestial comings and goings in the evening sky. September’s equinox takes place on the 22nd at 10:29 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. At that moment the Sun shines directly overhead as seen from the equator. Days and nights...

Pleiades

Resolving the Pleiades Distance Problem

A new measurement, made using radio interferometry, argues that the distance to the Pleiades star cluster measured by ESA's Hipparcos satellite really is wrong — and that ground-based astronomers had it right all along.