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Mars, Aldebaran, and the Pleiades in late twilight, Feb. 10, 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 3 – 12

Comet ZTF is still near its brightest, moonlight and all. Around the Big and Little Dog Stars, trace out the stick-figure patterns of the big and little dogs. A ghostly unicorn haunts the inside of the Winter Triangle.

Terence Dickinson

Astronomy and Society

Terence Dickinson (1943 – 2023)

Terence Dickinson, Canadian astronomer and author of numerous popular books on astronomy, has passed away.

Lucy spacecraft next to shiny rock on black field

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Lucy Mission Has a New Asteroid to Fly By

NASA’s Lucy mission now has a new first target of opportunity, a main-belt asteroid it will visit this November.

Comet ZTF (C/2022) and Mt. Etna

Comets

Understanding the Tails of Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3)

We explore Comet ZTF's remarkable trio of tails and share the latest news and photos.

Orion and nearby constellations

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

February: Winterʼs Dazzling Stars

February 4th marks the midway point between Decemberʼs solstice and the March equinox. Celebrate that celestial milestone by getting outside to gaze in awe at the amazing array of bright stars youʼll find overhead on February evenings.

Jupiter, Ganymede, Europa and double shadows, March 25, 2019

Solar System

Astronomers Find a Dozen More Moons for Jupiter

The discovery of a dozen new moons for Jupiter makes the king of planets the king of moons, too — at least for now.

Comet ZTF E3 dust tail

Comets

See Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3) Dash Between Big and Little Dippers

Forget the hype and go outside to enjoy the real thing — a relatively bright comet you can see in binoculars from a dark sky.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 27 – February 5

Comet ZTF is at its best this week — but every night moonlight encroaches on the scene until a later and later hour. Along the way, the Moon occults Mars for the southern U.S. and again forms isosceles triangles with naked-eyestars.

2023 BU close approach

Asteroids

Tiny Asteroid 2023 BU to Miss Earth

A recently discovered asteroid will pass exceptionally close to Earth on January 26th. Here's how to see it. Also, Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3) is brightening nicely, with three tails visible in binos.

Zoom ins on massive galaxy cluster show tiny red dots, distant galaxies that resemble nearby

Galaxies

New Observations Reveal Galaxies Near and Far

Astronomers at this month's big winter conference explored intriguing small galaxies at various points in cosmic history.

Intracluster light with Hubble

Galaxies

Hubble and Webb Image Galaxies’ Lost Stars

Deep images of galaxy clusters reveals the light of wandering stars. What set these stars free from their hosts?

Dark planet with translucent atmosphere in front of bright star

Exoplanets

JWST Investigates an Exoplanet "Corgi"

The James Webb Space Telescope has found the tiny tail of a close-in exoplanet that's losing its atmosphere.

Infographic showing increasing skyglow and disappearing stars

Astronomy and Society

Light Pollution Is Increasing Even Faster Than We Realized

The average brightness of the night sky is increasing by 10% every year, making the stars less visible.

Crescent Moon passing Venus and Saturn in conjunction, Jan. 22-23, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 20 – 29

Venus and Saturn have a close conjunction in twilight. Comet ZTF heads into its best week. And Betelgeuse overtakes Sirius ever earlier in the night.

Celestial News & Events

See a Giant Sunspot!

If you have a solar filter, check out the sunspot group AR 3190 that's crossing the solar disk this week.

Pandora

Solar System

The Moons of the Solar System

Not so long ago, astronomers thought only a few dozen moons orbited the planets of our solar system. Today, the total count tops 170!

Green arc floats above the Andromeda Galaxy

Milky Way

Amateur Astronomers Find Glowing Gas Arc Near Andromeda

An arc that glows green thanks to doubly ionized oxygen appears near the Andromeda Galaxy in a photo obtained by amateur astronomers.

swirl with many arms

Galaxies

Familiar Fluffy Triangulum Galaxy Has Hidden, Two-Armed Pattern

Astronomers have discovered that one of the Milky Way’s nearest galactic neighbors has dramatically changed its looks in the recent past.

Illustration of a planet and its star on a black background. The planet is large, in the foreground at the centre, and the star is smaller, in the background and also at the centre. The planet is rocky. The top quarter of the planet (the side facing the star) is lit, while the rest is in shadow. The star is bright yellowish-white, with no clear features.

Exoplanets

Webb Telescope Confirms Earth-size Exoplanet, Tries to Sniff Its Air

The James Webb Space Telescope has confirmed its first exoplanet, a rocky Earth-size planet, and attempted to take the measure of its atmosphere.

Supernova fireworks

Stellar Science

White Dwarf Survived 850-year-old Supernova

A supernova that skywatchers in the Far East observed almost 850 years ago has produced the most unusual remnant astronomers have ever found

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