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Solar Orbiter images of Sun

Solar System

Spotting Dots on the Sun

You’ve heard of sunspots, but how about Sun dots? A recent solar mission has snapped photos of tiny, bright dots on the Sun, and astronomers are contemplating their cause.

November 2021 Lunar eclipse

Explore the Night with Bob King

Witness a Total Lunar Eclipse on Sunday, May 15–16

The full Flower Moon ducks inside Earth's shadow in a total lunar eclipse this month. We help you prepare for all the highlights of the special event.

black hole surrounded by a glowing orange ring

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

Astronomers Unveil Image of the Milky Way’s Central Black Hole

Using a worldwide array of telescopes, the Event Horizon Telescope team has given us our first look at Sagittarius A*.

Spica and Corvus. Image by Akira Fujii.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, May 13 – 20

The Moon becomes totally eclipsed, Corvus eyes Spica, Draco eyes Vega, and the last star of the rising Summer Triangle clears the horizon.

Nova illustration

Stellar Science

Astronomers Watched a White Dwarf Turn into a Thermonuclear Fireball

Astronomers have spotted the X-ray flash that precedes a nova. The brief flare is the first sign of a white dwarf erupting into a nuclear-fusion fireball.

People, Places, and Events

S&T Authors Win Science Journalism Awards

Two Sky & Telescope authors have won prestigious awards recognizing excellence in science journalism.

Earth, reDSCOVRed

Exoplanets

How to Image an Exoplanet with Just a Few Pixels

Using Earth as an example, astronomers are testing a new technique that could image rocky exoplanets without resolving them.

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, May 6 – 14

The Moon aligns with Pollux and Castor – but how precisely for you? Three zero-magnitude stars form a far-flung spring triad. And with Libra and Bootes up, the two oldest things you will ever see await your binoculars or scope.

FRB counterpart

Stellar Science

A Possible Optical Counterpart to a Fast Radio Burst?

What’s the mechanism behind millisecond-duration bursts of radio energy coming from outer space? A team searched for visible-light counterparts to constrain the origin of fast radio bursts — and found one.

Plakha Alexander with Sky Watcher telescope

Astronomers Worth Noting

Wartime Skygazing: An Amateur Astronomer in Ukraine

Plakha Alexander — amateur astronomer, owner of Astro-Gadget.net, and Ukrainian — shares his experiences since Russia's invasion began.

Theia Impact

Solar System

Where Did Earth’s Trojans Go? Ask the Moon

Why doesn't Earth have Trojan asteroids of its own? Large impacts in the early years of the solar system may be to blame.

Moon & planets 24-26 May 2022

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

May: An Eclipse, Planets & More

Download this month's Sky Tour podcast to find which planets are visible in the morning and evening skies, along expert tips for how to view the total lunar eclipse on May 15–16.

The merger of a black-hole binary

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

10 New Merger Events in Gravitational-Wave Data

An independent team has found additional black hole mergers in LIGO data.

Mercury, Pleiades, crescent Moon, May 2, 2022

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, April 29 – May 6

Mercury passes the Pleiades at dusk. Jupiter passes Venus in the dawn as Mars and Saturn watch. And can you name the three brightest stars of these spring nights? Hint: They're all magnitude zero.

Meteoroids deliver organics

Astrobiology

Scientists Wonder: Is the Origin of Life Extraterrestrial?

A new analysis method has revealed DNA building blocks in meteorites, suggesting that these prebiotic molecules might have formed during the solar system's earliest years.

Naked eye sunspots

Explore the Night with Bob King

How to Observe and Measure Naked-eye Sunspots

As Solar Cycle 25 ticks up, naked-eye sunspots are becoming more frequent. They're not only fun to observe, but with this simple method you can determine just how big they are. We also have news on a bright supernova!

Osiris-APEX

Spacecraft and Space Missions

New Target for Asteroid Probe: “Potentially Hazardous” Apophis

Once the primary mission of NASA's OSIRIS-REx is complete, the spacecraft will head toward a new destination: near-Earth asteroid Apophis.

Cocooned jets

Stellar Science

Cocoons Around Dying Stars Could Explain New Type of Stellar Explosions

A recently discovered type of stellar explosion might fit right in among the spectrum from regular supernovae to massive gamma-ray bursts.

Hickson Compact Group 40

Galaxies

Happy Birthday, Hubble!

The Hubble Space Telescope turns 32 on April 24th, and the team behind the telescope is marking the occasion with the release of a galactic family picture.

International Dark Sky Week 2022

People, Places, and Events

Celebrate Dark Skies This Week, April 22–30

Are you interested in combating light pollution? International Dark Sky Week, which starts today, offers events in which you can learn how.

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