The publisher of Sky & Telescope and Night Sky magazines unveils a destination Web site for stargazing enthusiasts of all levels.
The US Senate is moving to boost NASA's budget and restore funding for a host of space-science missions now on the chopping block.
Why are "sundogs" called by that name? Before answering the why question, let me answer the what question that comes before: namely, what is a sundog, or mock Sun, in the first place? A sundog is a concentrated patch of sunlight occasionally seen about 22° to the left or right of the Sun. Sundogs often…
I was amazed at Jim Melka’s beautiful picture of Mars on page 136 of the January 2006 issue but puzzled by the caption, which said that he used a 12-inch reflector at f/42. How is this possible? Knowing that a telescope’s f/ratio is its focal length divided by its aperture, you’re probably imagining poor Jim…
With the Moon slowly receding from Earth, there will come a time when it no longer has sufficient angular size to cover the Sun completely. When will the last total solar eclipse occur? When the Moon’s at its closest and biggest and it can no longer cover the Sun at its farthest and smallest, total…
Nebulae and galaxies invariably look like shapeless, colorless blobs in my 6-inch telescope, a far cry from their spectacular appearance in photographs. If I buy a 12- or 14-inch scope, will I see a dramatic improvement? Would that it were so! A larger telescope will better reveal the shapes of nebulae and galaxies, and it…
If there were astronauts on the Moon, could we see them? I get some variant of this question almost every time I show someone his or her first view of the Moon through a telescope, especially at high magnification. The breathtaking sight of lunar craters, mountains, and other features down to the limit of perception…
Some eyepieces are being advertised as offering the widest possible true field in any telescope. How is this determined? The amount of sky shown by an eyepiece is governed by the diameter of its field stop, the ring that defines the edge of the visible field. On a given telescope, you can compute the true…
Twenty weekends and countless trips to the building-supplies store later, I'd done it I had an observatory to call my own.
Amateur astronomers seeking dark skies and great bargains flocked to the 2006 RTMC Astronomy Expo in California for Memorial Day weekend.
Astronomers are worried that future space-astronomy missions will be downsized, delayed, or cancelled because of a financial crisis within the space agency.
NASA administrator Michael Griffin has told the Hubble servicing team to resume preparations for a possible shuttle flight to upgrade the telescope.
For the lucky few who witnessed totality in the Pacific Ocean, the half-minute solar eclipse of April 8, 2005, was a real dazzler.
President George W. Bush has nominated physicist and aerospace engineer Michael D. Griffin to serve as the next administrator of the US space agency.
Like Hubble before it, Spitzer has flawed optics. But in this case the problem is mostly aesthetic, with little or no impact on the observatory's scientific capabilities.
The rumors that circulated in late January were true: The Bush Administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2006 includes no money to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
Amid new rumors that NASA plans to abandon the Hubble Space Telescope), Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) has vowed to continue fighting to keep the observatory operating.
The founder and principal designer of Coronado Technology Group brought hydrogen-alpha solar observing to the masses.
NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, who ran the agency for three years, announced his resignation late yesterday in a letter to President George W. Bush.
A blue-ribbon panel of experts has recommended that NASA should return Space Shuttle astronauts to the Hubble Space Telescope to extend its scientific lifetime.
A panel of outside experts has told NASA that another Hubble servicing mission is crucial, and that it should be carried out by Space Shuttle astronauts if necessary.
The US National Academy of Sciences has assembled a stellar committee of experts to weigh options for extending the life of the Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA is considering whether robots, instead of shuttle astronauts, might be able to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.
Both houses of Congress are now battling NASA and the Bush administration over the future of the Hubble Space Telescope.
The US House of Representatives is considering a resolution that could lead to the reversal of NASA's widely criticized decision to stop servicing the Hubble Space Telescope.