In the past two years, Australian amateur astrophotographer Anthony Wesley has discovered not one, but two impacts on Jupiter. That’s two more than the entire worldwide community of professional astronomers have discovered since the 21 large fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into the giant planet in July 1994. Why does Wesley shoot the planets…
Sometime in August, NASA’s next major interplanetary mission — Juno — will ride into space atop an Atlas V551 rocket. It’s destination is mighty Jupiter, the King of the Planets. Juno will go into orbit around the gas giant in July 2016. Over the course of the next year, Juno will use its powerful suite…
Robert Naeye comments on his experience at the annual SAS symposium, held at Big Bear Lake, California.
Astronomers have found what could be the first-ever members of a new stellar class — "stars" with surface temperatures lower than that of a hot cup of coffee.
NASA's Kepler space telescope has found1,200 likely new planets, including the most bizarre planetary system yet.
California astrophotographer R. Jay GaBany wins the 2011 award for cutting-edge amateur research.
Sky & Telescope interviews Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, on the hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Many instruments working together have profiled a baby galaxy group, seen not long after the Big Bang, of the kind that probably evolved into our Milky Way.
A lightweight little dwarf galaxy with no central bulge has a supermassive black hole half as heavy as the Milky Way's. How did that happen?
The Fermi satellite was launched to observe gamma rays coming from the distant universe. It has also found positrons coming from below.
With just 1.4 times Earth's diameter but 4.6 times Earth's mass, Kepler-10b has the average density of iron.
What would happen if astronomers found a large asteroid on a collision course with Earth? In the December 2010 issue of S&T, planetary scientist Dan Durda of the Southwest Research Institute describes a number of methods that could be used to avert disaster. In a follow-up to Dan’s article, S&T editor in chief Robert Naeye…
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Over the years, amateur astronomers have discovered tens of thousands of asteroids. But in recent years, amateur involvement in asteroid studies has shifted gears. Robert Stephens, an amateur astronomer based near Los Angeles, exemplifies this new era of research. Instead of actively searching for new asteroids, Bob makes brightness measurements of asteroids to find out…
NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, better know as SOFIA, is gearing up for its science mission. The flying observatory and its 2.5-meter telescope saw first light from the air this past May. Later this year it will begin science flights in earnest, and in the coming decades it should teach astronomers a great deal…
The count of known planets outside the solar system continues to rise. At the time of this writing in mid-August, the tally stands at about 470. But it’s not just the rising number of known worlds that demonstrates the remarkably rapid progress in exoplanet research. Astronomers are finding new types of planets, especially those with…
Jeff Hall talks about the search for sunlike stars and what they can tell us about our own Sun.
Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, which is now more than halfway to Pluto, explains how the spacecraft will explore parts of the solar system that are now shrouded in mystery.
All the major amateur and professional telescopes in Chile are in good working order despite Saturday's powerful earthquake.
Despite a recent claim, astronomers still don't understand an important class of exploding stars.
The Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, long the place from which astronomical discoveries have been announced to the world, has a new address.
The Obama administration abandons NASA's Constellation Moon program, but sets its sights farther afield.
From little red dwarfs to big blue blazers, stars of all masses seem to form planets robustly. That's just one item from the latest crop of exoplanet news.
From the Milky Way's halo to the far reaches of the cosmos, the two dominating components of the universe are revealing more hints about themselves.
Scientists unveil the first image from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite, which will map the sky in depth and detail at new wavelengths.