Astronomers have come up with a new technique for measuring an alien planet’s mass, and therefore its composition and potential habitability, even when standard methods don’t work.
The "comet of the century" famously lost its battle against the Sun, but you can still enter our photo contest for a chance to win some hefty prizes. Don't miss the December 31st deadline!
Two teams have announced the discovery of water on alien worlds. But they found less water than expected, suggesting these planets are surrounded by a high-altitude haze.
Astronomers have revealed a supposedly monster black hole to be rather ordinary in size.
Observations of one of the most powerful supernovas ever recorded suggest that the standard model for gamma-ray bursts might be missing a piece of the puzzle.
Astronomy is ready for the next generation of detectors, and superconductors are at the heart of the coming revolution.
The January 2014 issue of Sky & Telescope features Yvette Cendes’s article on radio emission from Jupiter — and the possibility that we might soon hear similar radio signals from planets beyond our solar system. Even as astronomers race to catch the radio whispers from a hot Jupiter orbiting another star, NASA’s Radio Jove...
Two recent experiments limit physicists’ favorite candidate for the elusive and invisible matter lurking in the universe.
The red giant star Kepler-56 spins on an axis offset by a bizarre 45 degrees from its transiting planets. The discovery of a third companion could explain why.
Turns out “the lonely star of autumn” has not just one, but two distant companions, making it one of the most widely separated systems known.
The first half of October 2013 is a good chance for early risers to catch the zodiacal light, the faint eastern glow preceding dawn.
Exoplanet hunter and S&T author Sara Seager is among 24 scientists and artists granted one of 2013’s prestigious MacArthur Fellowships, commonly known as the “genius grant.”
On October 1st, Comet ISON will pass closer to Mars than it ever will to Earth. The Red Planet’s rovers and orbiters are ready to send home postcards of the event.
New 3D maps of the Milky Way's central bulge of stars show a distinctively peanut-like shape. The maps give clues about how our galaxy evolved to its present-day form.
Scientists sneaked a peek into the Sun’s interior, but what they saw contradicts the assumptions made by models predicting solar activity.
The 17-day strike at the world’s largest ground-based observatory ended Saturday, and ALMA's revolutionary observations of the millimeter/submillimeter sky restart today.
Threatened by NSF cuts, the Green Bank Telescope signed a deal with West Virginia University to receive $1 million over the next two years. But the radio antenna will need more than that to survive long-term.
New observations solve the origins of a long rivulet of gas encircling the Milky Way.
A pulsar discovered last April is helping astronomers measure the magnetic field surrounding our galaxy’s central black hole.
In the November 2013 issue of S&T, I write about a revolutionary new telescope being built in the Chilean Atacama Desert. The Atacama Large Millimiter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) explores a little-known region of the electromagnetic spectrum, waves that are longer than the farthest infrared but shorter than radio waves. Submillimeter/millimeter waves come from frigid gas...
Since its arrival in August 2012, NASA's newest robotic rover has been taking snapshots of the flat Martian plain on which it landed and the tantalizing topography that looms in the distance.
Time and tide wait for no man. So the XMM-Newton space telescope is making every second count. As the telescope shifts its gaze from source to source, it's recording the X-ray sky.
Scientists are struggling to explain the Sun’s bizarre recent behavior. Is it a fluke, or a sign of a deeper trend?
Twinkle, twinkle, quasi-star: cosmic lenses could tell us what you are.
Space-based observations of RR Lyrae variable stars, once considered the paragon of simplicity, are revealing turmoil in their daily vibrations.