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Waning Moon passing Regulus at dawn, Oct. 2-3, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 1 – 9

Venus shines in twilight; watch Antares and the head of Scorpius slide toward it. Check out Jupiter, and hop from Saturn to two binocular double stars. The evenings are dark for deep-sky observing; the waning Moon crosses Leo before dawn.

Conflagration, Expansion and Fade

Celestial News & Events

Comet 29P Undergoes Brightest Outburst in Recent Years

Catch one of the most active small bodies in the solar system during a rare superoutburst.

Cassiopeia open clusters map

Explore the Night with Bob King

Cassiopeia Cornucopia — Pretty Little Clusters All in a Row

See nine unique open clusters in Cassiopeia while barely moving your telescope.

The merger of a black-hole binary

Black Holes

Addressing a Gap in Our Knowledge of Black Holes

Gravitational waves offer a test of whether supernovae can produce black holes between 55 and 120 times the Sun's mass.

Molten Ring

Galaxies

60-second Astro News: Magnified Galaxies Provide Window to Early Universe

Astronomers use cosmic magnifying lenses to peer into the universe's distant past.

Jupiter and Saturn in Capricornus, late Sept. 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, Sept. 24 – Oct. 2

Jupiter and Saturn shine in the south-southeast at dusk, Venus low in the southwest. They're all close to the ecliptic, so a straight line from Jupiter through Saturn points almost exactly to Venus. Don't believe it? Stretch a string tightly between your hands wide apart, hold it up to the three planets, and see for yourself!

Arabia Terra from orbit

Solar System

Mars Hosted Supervolcanoes in the Ancient Past

Scientists have found massive ash deposits that formed over millions of years of volcanic super-eruptions, the first evidence for such explosive activity on Mars.

Jupiter, color-enhanced

Solar System

Hail-like “Mushballs” May Fall on All Our Giant Planets

"Mushballs," first inferred to exist on Jupiter, may fall within the atmospheres of all the solar system's giant planets.

Superbubble in the Milky Way

Stellar Science

Supernova Blasts Hollowed Out "Giant Cavity" in Space

Some 10 million years ago, dying stars cleared a giant cavity in space and ultimately inspired a new generation of star formation.

black hole shredding star

Black Holes

Shredded Star Reveals Elusive Middle-Mass Black Hole

Astronomers have used the death of a star to uncover details about a hidden intermediate-mass black hole.

Solar System

Misfit Meteorite Sheds Light on Solar System History

Scientists have discovered the first meteorite that doesn't fall into one of two fundamental groups. The meteorite provides a unique glimpse into the era of asteroid formation and migration.

VIPER

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

NASA Announces Moon Landing Site for VIPER Mission

NASA’s VIPER rover will land and search for water ice in the unexplored Nobile region at the Moon's south pole.

M71

Night Sky Sights

The Last Wildflowers: Globular Clusters Greet Autumn

These four globular clusters are easy to find in autumn skies and a perfect way to welcome the season.

Spacecraft and Space Missions

CUPID Sun-Earth Space Weather CubeSat to Launch With LandSat-9

A small mission will hitch a ride to space in late September to study interactions at the Earth-Sun boundary.

Exo-Neptune AU Mic b (art)

Exoplanets

Infant “Hot Neptune” Provides Clues to Its Birth

How’d a nice young ice giant end up in such a hot orbit? Scientists investigate the mysterious exoplanet AU Microscopii b.

Moon under Saturn and Jupiter, Sept. 16-18, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 17 – 25

The waxing gibbous Moon shines with Jupiter and Saturn on its way to full. And as summer turns to fall, Deneb replaces Vega as the zenith star after dusk.

Gravitationally lensed supernova, four ways

Stellar Science

60-second Astro News: Solving Supernova Mysteries

This week, astronomers have solved one supernova mystery and predicted a new one — to be solved in 2037.

Pallas and Neptune time exposre

Explore the Night with Bob King

Asteroid Pallas Makes a Point in Pisces

Spice up your fall observing with a dash of Pallas and nibble of Neptune. Both planet and asteroid are easy to spot in a small telescope.

Possible Jovian impact flash

Celestial News & Events

Amateurs Spot New Impact Flash at Jupiter

An amateur astronomer has discovered a possible new impact flash in Jupiter's equatorial region. Observers may yet see the dark impact scar.

Clouds in the Milky Way halo (art)

Milky Way

Take a Deep Look into the Milky Way Halo

New analysis shows the best view of the Milky Way halo to date, providing a window into our galaxy's future star formation.

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