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Galilaei crater May 20, 2024

Explore the Night with Bob King

Why Did Galileo Get Such a Puny Crater?

Galileo was one of the first people to study the Moon through a telescope. You'd think he'd get more than 10-mile-wide crater for his efforts. But of course, there's more to the story.

Celestial News & Events

The Moon Is "Blue" This Wednesday...Or Is It?

If skies are clear this Wednesday, you'll see the full Moon — but it's not the "true" Blue Moon.

Palimpsest

History and Sky Lore

Lost Star Catalog of Ancient Times Comes to Light

Technology may have revealed a piece of the long-lost works of Greek astronomer Hipparchus, one of the greatest astronomers of antiquity.

Vega brilliance

Explore the Night with Bob King

Vega, the Star at the Center of Everything

While we may quibble about how to pronounce its name, there's no denying that Vega is one of the most fascinating and useful stars in the heavens.

Earthshine painting

History and Sky Lore

Solving an Earthshine Mystery

Something we take for granted about the crescent Moon's appearance may be nothing more than an optical illusion.

Galileo

History and Sky Lore

Galileo: Work-from-home Wizard, and Other Tales from Lockdown

To give readers encouragement during difficult times, here are six moments in history when astronomers found themselves locked down with nowhere to go.

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.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Observing Earth from the Moon

Ever wondered what it would be like to see the Earth from the Moon? Join Bob King as he explores this from the perspective of the Apollo 17 astronauts.

The Milky Way from Australia

History and Sky Lore

Aboriginal Australians Observed Red Giant Stars’ Variability

New interpretations of oral accounts by Aboriginal Australians show that they included references to the variability of red giants Antares, Betelgeuse, and Aldebaran.

Bright Star An Ancient Link

History and Sky Lore

A Real Scorcher! — Sirius At Heliacal Rising

Make a connection to a time when stars were used to track seasons and predict natural events by watching the heliacal rising of Sirius.

NGC 6543

People, Places, and Events

The First Planetary Nebula Spectrum

Celebrate the anniversary of a revolutionary discovery by gathering with other astronomers to observe planetary nebulae in August's evening sky.

Astronomy and Society

On the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 17

Forty years after the last human visitors departed the Moon aboard Apollo 17, space historian Andrew Chaikin talks about why we should return.

History and Sky Lore

Transits of Venus: Deaths and Dilemmas

The colorful history of one of astronomy's rarest events — the transit of Venus — was discussed at the recent IAU conference in Beijing, China.

Science and Space Policy

Running Around China and the IAU

Pluto, quasars, and total solar eclipses over Easter Island were just a few of the topics that came up at the close of the first week of the international astronomy conference in Beijing.

Celestial News & Events

Transits of Venus in History: 1769-today

Read the third and final chapter of transits of Venus in history, as the transits went from being a crucial scientific measurement to an observing curiosity.

Celestial News & Events

Transits of Venus in History: 1631-1716

Read the full account — in three parts — of the history behind the upcoming transit of Venus.

Celestial News & Events

Transits of Venus in History: 1761

Read the next chapter in the history of the transit of Venus, the fantastic voyages in 1761.

Celestron's Tom Johnson

History and Sky Lore

Tom Johnson, 1923–2012

The genius who designed the modern Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, and then shaped its role in changing the face of amateur astronomy, died on Tuesday.

Stellar Science

In Memoriam, Star-style

Twenty-five years ago, a star exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The first easily seen supernova since before astronomers turned telescopes to study the heavens, the explosion heralded a new age of astronomy.

History and Sky Lore

Closure for Copernicus

More than 4½ centuries after his death in 1543, Nicholas Copernicus received a hero's acclaim as his remains were interred in Frombork, Poland.