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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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PHAT field for M31

Charting the Andromeda Galaxy

The Hubble Space Telescope has turned its ultraviolet, visible-light, and near-infrared eyes to the queen of galaxies, M31, capturing the biggest and sharpest image yet of our neighbor.

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.

Rosetta’s lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as these first two CIVA images confirm. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground. The image is a two-image mosaic. The full panoramic from CIVA will be delivered in this afternoon’s press briefing at 13:00 GMT/14:00 CET.
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Rosetta Update: Philae Landed in a Hole

The exact location of Philae’s landing site remains unknown, though the site’s topography might allow the lander to operate longer than planned. Meanwhile, Rosetta is detecting organics and heavy elements even when Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko is far from the Sun.