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Deep-sky map Capella region

Deep Sky

Foraging for Deep-sky Delights with Capella, the Goat Star

We explore deep-sky riches within a stone's throw of Capella, one of the season's brightest stars.

Artemis-1

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Space Missions to Watch in 2021

The coming year will feature three space missions arriving at Mars, the launch of SLS and James Webb, and much more.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Jupiter and Saturn Embrace in Solstice Conjunction

Jupiter and Saturn fashion the Great Conjunction of 2020 when they pair up on December 21st, the winter solstice. That evening they'll be closest in nearly 400 years.

Chang'e 5

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Chang'e 5's Lunar Sample Arrives on Earth

China’s Chang’e 5 lunar sample-return capsule has arrived safely on Earth.

illustration of active galaxy

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Survey Finds Newborn Black Hole Jets in Distant Galaxies

Astronomers have spotted a surprising number of quasars with jets launched within a couple of decades.

Geminids from Tenerife

Explore the Night with Bob King

A Banner Year for the Geminid Meteor Shower

With no Moon to brighten the night, this year's rich Geminid meteor shower should be one of the best ever. Find a spot away from city lights, dress warmly, and don't forget the hot chocolate.

Hayabusa 2

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Hayabusa 2 Returns Sample of Asteroid Ryugu to Earth

The predawn operation to recover the Hayabusa 2 sample-return capsule in the Australian Outback was a success.

Chang'e 5 panorama

Spacecraft and Space Missions

China's Chang'e 5 Collects Samples, Departs from the Moon

China's Chang’e-5 ascent vehicle has departed Oceanus Procellarum with pieces of lunar soil after a lightning-quick sample collection.

Chang'e 5 (art)

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

China Lands Ambitious Sample-Return Mission on the Moon

The aim of China's Chang'e 5 mission is to return samples of lunar soil to Earth by the end of 2020.

Surveyor 2

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Earth's New "Minimoon" May be a 1960s-Era Rocket Booster

An object set to pass near Earth next month may in fact be a relic of the early Space Age.

Closeup of a modern high speed camera

Imaging Foundations with Richard Wright

Two Ways to Use Video for Astrophotography

Use high-speed cameras to capture spectacular live views of galaxies and high-res images of the Moon and planets.

2001 Leonid storm

Explore the Night with Bob King

Leonid Meteor Shower to the Rescue

Modest but reliable, the annual Leonid meteor shower returns this week. Take an hour or two to relax and enjoy the show.

Crew One

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

SpaceX Launches Four Astronauts to the International Space Station

A crew of four is headed to the International Space Station, on Crew Dragon’s first operational launch, Crew One.

Arecibo

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Another Cable Snaps at the Arecibo Observatory

Engineers are looking at stabilizing the dish, as the Arecibo Observatory has suffered a second cable failure.

big black hole merger

Black Holes

Big Black Holes Dominate New Gravitational-Wave Catalog

Gravitational-wave scientists have unveiled their latest catalog of events, revealing a surprising number of massive black holes.

Cool blue world

Night Sky Sights

Tiny Asteroid Flora and Mighty Uranus Team Up

Both Uranus and the asteroid 8 Flora came to opposition on Halloween. Catch them both in the same corner of the sky the next clear night.

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

NASA's Osiris-REX Has Stowed Its Bite Out of Asteroid Bennu

NASA’s Osiris-REX successfully stowed its sample of Bennu's regolith, collected earlier this week. Images show a good haul.

TAG Osiris-REX

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Osiris-REX "TAGs" Bennu, Returns Stunning Views

See images and video from NASA’s Osiris-REX spacecraft as it samples the Nightingale site.

ATLAS with a tail

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comets Crawl through the Skies at Dawn and Dusk

Comets have been scarce since NEOWISE departed the scene. Not anymore. Suddenly, there are four fresh faces visible from dusk til dawn.

OSIRIS-Rex

Solar System

Osiris-REX Successfully Collected Sample from Asteroid Bennu

NASA's Osiris-REX mission has successfully touched down on the asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of its surface for return to Earth.

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