Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

News

Your online destination for news articles on planets, cosmology, NASA, space missions, and more. You’ll also find information on how to observe upcoming visible sky events such as meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses, key planetary appearances, comets, and asteroids.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Rising star in astronomy: Wen-Fai Fong

Observational astronomer Wen-Fai Fong’s research always starts with fireworks. “I study explosions in the night sky,” Fong says. “In astronomy, we call them transients.” Fong focuses on two kinds of brilliant transient...

Explore the constellation Orion: This Week in Astronomy with Dave Eicher

Hi folks, tune in every week of 2023 for the best in astronomy from Astronomy Editor Dave Eicher, brought to you by Celestron. This Week in Astronomy is a video series that covers all the latest sky events, scientific results, overviews of cosmic mys...

Two astronomers are working to track space junk around the Moon

Scientists and government agencies have been worried about the space junk surrounding Earth for decades. But humanity’s starry ambitions are farther reaching than the space just around Earth. Ever since the 1960s with the launch of the Apollo program...
Friday, February 3, 2023

The Sky This Week: Stand under a Full Snow Moon

Friday, February 3 A bright, nearly Full Moon rises with the heads of Gemini the Twins this evening. As the stars begin to appear, you can spot 1st-magnitude Pollux and Castor sitting (in that order) directly above the Moon in the eastern sky. Cas...

These 5 impact craters highlight Earth's wild history

I think all craters are cool, I’m just going to start with that. I am very biased. Impact craters occur on every planetary body in our solar system, no matter the size. By studying impact craters and the meteorites that cause them, we can learn about...

Amateur astronomers discover enormous nebula near Andromeda

Despite being one of the most venerable and prominent objects in the night sky, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) still has surprises. And a group of amateur astronomers have uncovered the latest: a previously unknown emission nebula lying just southeast of...

In depth: James Webb Space Telescope's spectacular image of Jupiter

When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) blasted off from French Guiana Dec. 25, 2021, astronomers anticipated it would deliver breathtaking images of distant galaxies and star-forming regions, as well as analyze the chemical makeups of exoplanet a...
Thursday, February 2, 2023

How a trio of observatories around Tucson is changing astronomy

Amid the burning Arizona sands, three peaks form a triangle of superlatives surrounding Tucson. Atop Mount Graham sits the world’s largest optical telescope. Mount Hopkins is home to North America’s second-largest single-mirror telescope....

Terence Dickinson, astronomy popularizer and astrophotographer, dies at age 79

Terence Dickinson, author of numerous popular books on astronomy and accomplished astrophotographer, passed away Feb. 1, 2023, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 79 years old. Dickinson’s interest in astronomy began when he was ...

James Webb pierces the cold heart of the Chameleon

Stars form when massive clouds of cold gas and dust fragment, condense, and collapse. As the density in a small part of the cloud grows high enough, the pressure skyrockets until it ignites the fusion process that forms the fiery heart of a new star....

Snapshot: Blue stars steal the show in NGC 2031

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope image of the star-filled globular cluster NGC 2031 is furthering scientists’ understanding of “stellar contamination,” or possibly a rejuvenated class of stars called “blue stragglers.&rdquo...
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Can cosmology untangle the universe’s most elusive mysteries?

“The first thing we know about the universe is that it’s really, really big,” says cosmologist Michael Turner, who has been contemplating this reality for more than four decades now. “And because the universe is so big,” he says, “it’s often beyond t...

Sky This Month: February 2023

Three bright planets are visible every evening in February, and two more can be spotted with binoculars. Venus, Jupiter, and Mars are strung across the western sky after sunset; the first two set earlier, while Mars remains long into the night. The s...

Rising star in astronomy: Alexander James

Alexander James decided to study the Sun when he was a graduate student at the University of Southhampton in the U.K. His reasoning was simple: “I wanted to do something that would have a direct impact and application to helping society,”...

Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon reentry 20 years ago today

On the morning of Feb. 1, 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia was set to return to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center following a 16-day orbital mission packed with scientific experiments. But just 15 minutes after breaching Earth’s atmosphere — while still at...
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

AI is helping hunt for extraterrestrial life — and it's found 8 strange new signals

Some 540 million years ago, diverse life forms suddenly began to emerge from the muddy ocean floors of planet Earth. This period is known as the Cambrian Explosion, and these aquatic critters are our ancient ancestors. All complex life on Earth evolv...

Astronomers discover a formation on Mars that resembles a bear

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recently snapped an unexpected — and adorable — image of a martian formation that bears a striking resemblance to the face of a woodland creature more commonly found on Earth: a bear. The new image was captured Dec...
Monday, January 30, 2023

Supermassive black holes can be kicked off-center in bright galaxies

The largest black holes in the universe can have masses hundreds of millions of times that of the Sun. So, it understandably takes a lot of force to move one of those things. Nonetheless, new research reveals that it’s surprisingly common for ...

Rising star in astronomy: Laura Kreidberg

What’s in a world? Astronomer Laura Kreidberg doesn’t know, but she’s dying to find out. Kreidberg, 33, focuses on exploring the clouds of alien worlds to help astronomers analyze and catalog their astounding diversity, history, a...

Mars passes behind the Moon: This Week in Astronomy with Dave Eicher

Hi folks, tune in every week of 2023 for the best in astronomy from Astronomy Editor Dave Eicher, brought to you by Celestron. This Week in Astronomy is a weekly video series that covers all the latest sky events, scientific results, overviews of cos...
Friday, January 27, 2023

Apollo 1 tragedy: The fatal fire and its aftermath

Every January, a tight-knit clutch of families and friends head for a barren, disused area of Cape Canaveral to reflect and remember. With almost religious reverence, they lay bright splashes of winter blooms near a gaunt concrete and steel hulk that...

Asteroid 2023 BU just passed within a few thousand miles of Earth

There are hundreds of millions of asteroids in our solar system, which means new asteroids are discovered quite frequently. It also means close encounters between asteroids and Earth are fairly common. Some of these close encounters end up with the a...

The Sky This Week: Comet ZTF zips past Earth

Friday, January 27 Cetus the Whale stands above the southwestern horizon these winter nights. This large constellation — the fourth largest of all 88 — covers some 1,231 square degrees and contains several well-known stars. One such star is Mira, ...
Thursday, January 26, 2023

Strange twist: Earth's inner core may be changing its spin direction

Earth’s core has long been a place of mystery to scientists. The core of our planet sits just over 1,800 miles below the surface and exists as a ball of seething hot metal, specifically iron and nickel. It possesses many unique qualities — including ...

How the James Webb Space Telescope takes such stunning images

Over the past six months, we Earthlings have seen some pretty awe-inspiring images through the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Since the telescope's first image was revealed to the public in July, 2022, JWST has captured images of ancient galaxies...

See winter's best Messier objects

As backyard observers may know, some modest telescopes lack the optics or aperture to cleanly resolve deep-sky objects like nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies. This leads to fuzzy images, often making it difficult to characterize exactly what you&r...
Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The future of space travel might rely on buildings made of mushrooms

Growing structures made of mushrooms on the Moon might seem like something straight out of a Ray Bradbury story. But it turns out to be more practical, and is happening more promptly, than you might think. Just two years from now, a project is slate...

Do we know more about the Moon than the deep sea? No.

We know more about the Moon than the deep sea. This idea has been repeated for decades by scientists and science communicators, including Sir David Attenborough in the 2001 documentary series The Blue Planet. More recently, in Blue Planet II (2017...

James Webb targets nearby nebula bursting with star formation

Fittingly located in the constellation Tucana the Toucan, the bird-shaped nebula NGC 346 was recently observed by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Astronomers targeted NGC 346 — which is tucked in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galax...

Rising star in astronomy: Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

When asked what first drew her to physics, you might expect theoretical cosmologist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein to say that it was looking up at stars or learning about planets. But it was something much closer to Earth. “I love math,” she s...
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Rubble pile asteroids found to be particularly hard to destroy

A vast amount of rocks and other material are hurtling around our solar system as asteroids and comets. If one of these came towards us, could we successfully prevent the collision between an asteroid and Earth? Well, maybe. But there appears to be o...

Top 10 space stories of 2022

Science is such a forward-looking endeavor that it’s all the more rewarding when long, challenging efforts finally come to fruition. And 2022 was a year with many payoffs, as researchers began unlocking the secrets of our solar system’s a...
ADVERTISEMENT
FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter. View our Privacy Policy.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Apollo_RightRail
A chronicle of the first steps on the Moon, and what it took to get there.
Find us on Facebook