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Star with two suns

Exoplanets

How Amateurs Could Help Future Exoplanet Observations

Large observatories will require precise timing info to measure as many exoplanet atmospheres as possible. Backyard astronomers have the power to keep that intel fresh.

Three people looking at the Milky Way

People, Places, and Events

2020 Star Parties Update

Several star parties have been canceled or rescheduled due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. In many cases, organizers are still in the process of making a decision on how and when to hold a given event. Here is an updated calendar of upcoming North American star parties and events, with…

Cosmology

A Mysterious X-ray Signal Has Gone Missing

The absence of a mysterious X-ray signal — which could have provided evidence of dark matter — is causing as much controversy as its detection did.

Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4)

Explore the Night with Bob King

Comet ATLAS: Will it Become a Naked-Eye Object?

Is our bright comet drought drawing to a close? Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) might become a naked-eye object some time this spring. Read on to find out when and where to look for it.

Single-looped Knife Edge Galaxy

Galaxies

The Knife Edge Galaxy Throws Astronomers For a Loop

A 2008 image captured a stunning double loop of stars around an edge-on galaxy. Now, astronomers are questioning whether one of those loops exist.

2012 DA14

History and Sky Lore

Celestial Cold Case: Why an Old Mystery Remains Unsolved

An amateur astronomer thought he had found the true identity of a mystery object identified — and then lost — in 1971.

Perseus Cluster

Cosmology

Astronomers Rein in Possibilities for Exotic Particle

Astronomers observing a distant galaxy have dramatically shrunk the range of possible properties of a long-predicted — but never-detected — subatomic particle.

Canis Major

Night Sky Sights

A Bino Tour of the Big Dog

For observers looking for a quick outing with binoculars, Canis Major offers a set of lovely attractions that includes a trio of open clusters.

Black Holes

Scientists Predict Countless Rings of Light Encircle Black Holes

Detailed calculations reveal a surprise about how black holes bend light around themselves, opening a new possibility for future observations.

The Milky Way's warp

Milky Way

The Milky Way’s Warped Tutu Twirls Every 600 Million Years

Astronomers have known for decades that our galaxy is warped. Now, they can follow the warp’s rotation as it travels around the galactic center.

ExoMars Rover

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

European ExoMars Mission Delayed to 2022

The European and Roscosmos space agencies have postponed the launch of their Kazachok lander and Rosalind Franklin rover to 2022.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Deep-sky Observing the Easy Way

Cold weather keeping you inside at night? Limit your time outdoors and make the most of your telescope time with these easy-to-find deep-sky gems.

Iron rain on ultra-hot planet

Exoplanets

Iron Might Rain on This Hot Jupiter

New observations show a signature that could come from iron rain on one side of hot Jupiter WASP-76b.

Two neutron stars prior to merger

Stellar Science

Gravitational Waves Put Ruler to Neutron Stars

Scientists have combined observations of gravitational waves from a neutron star collision with nuclear theory to shed light on the size and nature of neutron stars.

Perseverance

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

NASA Announces Next Mars Rover Name: Perseverance

NASA announced today that its next Mars rover mission now has its official name: Perseverance.

Sunset from Camp Wesumkee

People, Places, and Events

Winter Stargazing in the Florida Keys

Every February, amateur astronomers flock to the Florida Keys to a dark-sky site for a week of stargazing at the Winter Star Party.

Gibbous Moon

Celestial Objects to Observe

Diving Into the Moon's Bay of Rainbows

This curious lunar feature — visible the nights of March 4th and April 2nd — is a delight in small scopes or even binoculars.

Mini-moon discovered

Explore the Night with Bob King

Earth Has A Mini-Moon — But Not for Long!

Two astronomers discovered a temporary mini-moon captured by Earth — but it's about to win its freedom.

New Horizon

Pro-Am Collaboration

New Horizons Recruits Amateurs to Sight Stars

The New Horizons team wants you to help measure the distance to two stars, yielding the longest-ever baseline measurement of a key cosmic yardstick.

Celestial News & Events

March 2020: A Planet Trio and More!

During March, the cosmos offers a lot to see both before sunrise and after sunset. To get a guided tour of the month's highlights, play or download this month's Sky Tour episode.

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