The dim, obscure periodic comet 209P/LINEAR is about to pass close by Earth — and bring with it a trail of debris that could make for an exciting meteor shower during the predawn hours of Saturday May 24th for North America.
A neighboring galaxy’s central black hole powers strong winds, allowing astronomers — for the first time — to spot those gales pushing out star-forming gas.
The Rosetta spacecraft took these images of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko as it approaches the nucleus. It'll launch its lander, Philae, in November onto the nucleus's surface.
Now in its 15th year, the Edgar Wilson Award recognizes comet discoveries made by amateur observers. The 2013 awards honor seven dedicated individuals who scan the skies.
A hive of stars is sailing toward Earth at more than 2 million miles per hour — and racing away from the giant galaxy it used to call home.
The ESA's Planck mission has released one of the most detailed maps of the Milky Way's magnetic field.
Astronomers have confirmed that a star in the constellation Hercules is a dead ringer for one of the Sun’s long-lost brothers.
This celebration of "bringing astronomy to the people" features events across the nation and around the world.
Astronomers have created the most realistic computer simulation of the universe’s evolution to date, tracking activity across 13 billion years of cosmic history.
A bizarre X-ray flare first spotted in 2010 could be a signal from two black holes that will ultimately unite into a single beast.
Seen each year in early May, the Eta Aquariid meteors are spawned by none other than Halley's Comet. This shower is best seen before dawn's first light.
Your first view of Saturn with a telescope can introduce you to the riches of stargazing — and now is the perfect time to observe it. Saturn is entering the early evening sky this spring just as Jupiter begins its exit in the west. Here's a quick guide to spotting the ringed planet by...
A new processing technique has revealed once-invisible planetary disks encircling five stars imaged in Hubble’s archive.
Astronomers have used a new technique to measure — for the first time — the spin of an extrasolar planet.
Infrared observations have uncovered a cool brown dwarf that’s only about 7 light-years away. The object is one of the closest stellar systems to the Sun and the coolest brown dwarf yet discovered.
The first and only annular solar eclipse of 2014 has a path that just clips Antarctica, at a location so remote that no one on Earth will get to see the event. Update: Partial phases of April 29th's solar eclipse were widely seen across the southern part of Australia. See the bottom of this...
Amateur astronomers have teamed up with the pros to produce four stunning multiwavelength images of galaxies M101, M81, M51, and Centaurus A.
This month you have a chance to spot four planets in the evening sky at once: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. As a bonus, you might be treated to a spectacular display of meteors on the morning of May 24th.
Astronomers don't know why Jupiter's iconic Great Red Spot has been gradually shrinking since the 1800s — or why the downsizing has accelerated during the past two years. Update: On May 15th, NASA released newly taken images of the Great Red Spot (at bottom below) to show its declining size since 1995. Thanks to...
In 2010, a mysteriously bright supernova appeared, later sparking a debate within the astronomy community. But new images of the now-faded supernova reveal an intervening — and until now invisible — cosmic lens, which magnified its light.
By combining nearly 1,500 observations with sophisticated computer models, astronomers have shed light on a nearby planetary system, proving that the planets' bizarre orbits will actually remain stable for the next 100 million years.
In 2002, high-school student Jennifer Barlow had a simple idea: let's take some time to appreciate the beauty of the cosmos and consider ways to reduce the spread of light pollution. Here's how you can join the celebration! Have you ever stepped outside to take in a view of the starry sky overhead —...
The odd behavior of a star in the heart of the Stingray Nebula provides tantalizing evidence that we may be seeing, first-hand, its helium-shell flash: an explosive phase of nuclear burning at the end of a star’s life.
The Mars rover Opportunity has been cleaned of heavy dust coating its solar panels, thanks to some strong winds blowing over the rim of Endeavour Crater.
The newly discovered planet, Kepler-186f, is the first Earth-size exoplanet circling in its star’s habitable zone. The media worldwide is gleaming with fantastical headlines, but readers in the know may have an inkling the result is less than it seems.