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Lick Observatory

Professional Telescopes

Historic Lick Observatory Survives California Fire

The Lick Observatory, a major astronomical institution outside San Jose, has survived a devastating California wildfire mostly unscathed.

Night Sky Sights

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 4 – 12

Mars is big, bright and close as it nears opposition! It nears the gibbous Moon this weekend.

Antares, imaged

Night Sky Sights

Meet Antares: The Star That Is Not Mars

Antares is a red supergiant that — like Betelgeuse — will one day go supernova.

Gravitational waves from GW190521

Cosmology

Record-breaking Signal Reveals New Population of Black Holes

Gravitational-wave observatories have detected the most massive black hole merger yet, and it's challenging our ideas of black hole formation.

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

September 2020: Four Planets & More!

Take advantage of September's beautiful evenings to gaze upward as you listen to our guided tour of the star-filled sky.

Twinkling quasar

Solar System

Twinkling Quasar Hints at Mysterious Nearby Plasma Cloud

Radio observations have turned up evidence of a cloud of hot plasma near — or even in — the solar system. But its distance estimate is still up for debate.

Protoplanetary disk

Solar System

The Origin of Earth’s Water

Scientists have discovered a new candidate source for Earth's water: building blocks of the primordial solar system known as enstatite chondrites.

OGO 1

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Half-ton OGO 1 Spacecraft Set to Reenter

NASA's Orbiting Geophysical Observatory 1, a bus-sized relic of the early Space Age, is set to reenter in the coming week.

Charon

Solar System

How Did Pluto's Moons Form?

A massive collision with Pluto’s moon Charon could have formed the dwarf planet’s collection of smaller moons.

Algol

Celestial News & Events

Take a Roller Coaster Ride on a Fast Eclipsing Binary

How would you like to see a star drop two magnitudes in the time it takes to eat dinner? Easy to do. Just check out one of these fast eclipsing binaries — they'll make your head spin.

An image of the ASKAP array under the Milky Way

Milky Way

Will Radio Bursts Reveal Hidden Baryons?

Scientists are using radio emission from pulsars and fast radio bursts to probe the circumgalactic medium around the Milky Way.

Magnetic fields in Serpens South Cluster

Stellar Science

See the Invisible: A Gallery of Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields affect everything from star formation to galaxy evolution. View a gallery of images that show magnetism's role.

Comet NEOWISE

Solar System

Hubble Captures Comet NEOWISE

The Hubble Space Telescope imaged the famous comet on August 8th.

Early Milky Way look-alike

Galaxies

"Dead Ringer" for the Milky Way Found in Early Universe

A cosmic magnifying glass has revealed a Milky Way-like galaxy in the early universe that doesn’t conform to cosmologists’ expectations.

Professional Telescopes

Iconic Arecibo Radio Dish Damaged

A broken support cable at the Arecibo radio observatory brings operations to a halt.

radar map of Titan's north pole

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Winds and Tides Drive Sea Waves on Titan

Sunlight glittering off rough patches of sea on Saturn’s largest moon indicates ever-changing waves.

Protoplanetary disk

Cosmology

Hints of Young Solar Systems

By studying the images of small young star systems, astronomers expect to learn more about the formation of our solar system.

Pocket Sky Atlas cover, Jumbo edition

Astronomy Products

Here’s What’s New in the Pocket Sky Atlas, 2nd Edition

Sky & Telescope presents the second edition of its most popular celestial atlases, the Pocket Sky Atlas and the Jumbo Pocket Sky Atlas!

407 Perseid composite

Explore the Night with Bob King

Perseids Peak August 11–12 — Get Ready for the Show

The Perseid meteor shower is like no other. Every August it delivers up to 100 meteors an hour in pleasant weather conducive to getting outside and staying up late. What's more, most kids still aren't in school, making it possible for the entire family to enjoy the event.

Ceres, ocean world

Solar System

Asteroid Ceres: An Ocean World

Scientists have thought that the largest main-belt asteroid, Ceres, had an ancient ocean beneath its surface. But new data from the Dawn spacecraft show the underground ocean might still be there.

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