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Moon crossing Scorpius, June 18-20, 2024.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 14 – 23

On solstice week the brightening Moon moves across the evening sky from Spica to Scorpius. On Monday, it helps you find a piece of Centaurus from as far north as southernmost Canada!

Space Missions

Short-lived Experiment Marks Start of Radio Astronomy from the Moon

Despite a mission glitch, NASA’s lunar radio experiment ROLSES (carried to the Moon on the Odyssesus lander in February) obtained a unique "view" of Earth.

Beta Pictoris debris disk

Exoplanets

Webb Telescope Sees Evidence of Asteroid Collision Around Nearby Star

New data suggest the star Beta Pictoris has cleared away the remains of an asteroid pulverized as recently as two decades ago.

Mars gully

Solar System

What Martian Gullies Mean for Water on Mars

Martian gullies have been the center of a debate about whether Mars ever has flowing water. Now, a comprehensive study examines the question.

M7 locator map

Night Sky Sights

Meet Shaula: The Scorpion’s Triple-Pronged Stinger

Meet Shaula, the bright star on the Scorpion's tail. It's a challenge for northern observers, but easy to find if it clears the horizon!

Black Holes

"Death Star" Black Holes Can Swivel Their Million Light-Year Long Plasma Beams

Heavyweight black holes sometimes topple over on their sides, according to X-ray and radio observations of the jets these black holes power.

Starlink flares above Utah desert

Astronomy and Society

Starlink Flares Can Fool Anyone — Even Airline Pilots

Starlink satellites can flare as brightly as Venus, confusing ground observers and airline pilots alike.

Hubble

Space Missions

Hubble to Transition to New Observing Mode, Will Continue Science

NASA engineers are working to extend operations for the venerable space telescope. Observations are expected to continue by mid-June.

Crescent Moon under Castor and Pollux, June 7-8, 2024

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 7 – 16

The waxing Moon reenters the sky as an evening crescent. Pollux and Castor keep it company. The Big Dipper hangs straight down. And can you still catch wintry Capella? The colder your latitude the better your chance.

Image showing most distant galaxy known

Cosmology

Webb Telescope Finds Strangely Bright Galaxies at Cosmic Dawn

Another record-breaker: Two galaxies date to only 300 million years after the Big Bang. How did they grow so big and bright so quickly?

Comet 13P/Olbers

Explore the Night with Bob King

Comet 13P/Olbers Juices Up June Skies

June brings heat and bugs but also a moderately bright, early-evening comet that returns every 69 years.

Landing

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Whirlwind Chang’e 6 Mission Collects Lunar Samples, Heads Back Home

China Chang’e 6 mission has landed on the Moon and is now set to perform another first: a sample return from the lunar farside.

Red dwarf star with large convective cells at left, while at right looms the bulk of an Earth-size terrestrial planet colored in mottled brown and hanging onto a thin, blue veneer of an atmosphere

Exoplanets

Astronomers Discover New Earth-size World Only 40 Light-Years Away

This nearby terrestrial world might just reveal the secrets of atmospheric composition and habitability for planets like Earth and Venus.

Ophiuchus the Serprent Holder

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

June Podcast: Spotting the Serpent Charmer

Listen to this tour of the stars and planets that you’ll see overhead during June. Learn how to spot three planets before dawn, and to track down a snake-handler in the early summer sky. Grab your curiosity, and come along on this month’s Sky Tour.

Voyager

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Voyager 1 (and Half Its Instruments) Are Back Online

Voyager 1 is once again returning data from two of four science instruments onboard.

Big Dipper with the stars labeled with the years the light we see in 2024 left them. (Image: IAU/ Arya Anthony)

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, May 31 – June 9

Arcturus and Vega highlight the evening, The Big Dipper quickly pivots. And sorry, tell your friends and family who ask that no "dazzling Parade of Planets" is blazing across the sky. Who makes this stuff up??

First look at Dinkinesh and its satellite

Solar System

NASA's Lucy Mission Reveals Asteroid's Strange Moon

The asteroid Dinkinesh surprised NASA’s Lucy mission when it turned out to have a moon. Now, scientists are taking a closer look at the pair’s formation.

Euclid's five images

Stellar Science

Euclid’s Revolutionary New Images

The Euclid mission has released five new panoramas of celestial objects that are stunning in both their breadth and depth.

orange-colored landscape of a gently sloping mount with flows highlighted in red

Solar System

Venus’s Volcanoes Live

The evidence is in: Venus is volcanically active.

massive white star with black hole transiting in front of it

Black Holes

Did This Black Hole Form Without a Supernova?

Some massive stars may collapse completely into black holes — without the fanfare of a supernova.

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