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Deimos, with Mars in the background

Solar System

The Moon Deimos Might Be a Piece of Mars

Surprising new results from the United Arab Emirates' Hope probe call the origin of Mars's smaller moon into question.

An orange oval extends from the 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock positions. It features a prominent outer ring, a darker gap, an intermediate ring, a narrower dark gap, and a bright inner disc. At the centre is a ragged black spot indicating a lack of data


The James Webb Space Telescope Reveals Fomalhaut's Disk In Unprecedented Detail

Continuing its run of ground-breaking discoveries, the James Webb Space Telescope has snapped the clearest images yet of the dusty disk around the young star Fomalhaut.

An artist illustration of the Quaoar system in front of a background of white stars. Central in the figure sits a brownish planet. This is Quaoar, a dwarf planet in the outer Solar System. At a distance of about five times its radius sits a ring. This ring is made up out of small grey pieces of debris. At twice the distance of the ring, to the left of Quaoar, sits its moon Weywot. Weywot looks about a sixth the size of Quaoar but has the same brownish colour. To the right of this system, we see a bright star. This star is bigger than the background stars and represents the distant Sun

Solar System

Second Ring Around Quaoar Puzzles Astronomers

There's a second ring around the far-out dwarf planet Quaoar, adding to the mystery of how this world hosts rings at such wide orbits.

Solar System

Four of Uranus's Moons Might Contain Briny Oceans

Four of Uranus's five icy moons likely contain a thin layer of briny (or otherwise enriched) water, astronomers have concluded from Voyager 2 data.

stylized atoms sprayed over a field of black

Stellar Science

Astronomers Find the Remains of the Universe’s First Stars

The first stars are too faint and far away to detect directly, but their gaseous remains can be seen absorbing the light of distant galaxies.

Moon passing under Saturn at dawn, May 12-14, 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, May 5 – 14

Big, macho Venus is closing in on wimpy little Mars in the western sky at dusk. Venus says hi to M35 on the way. In early dawn, the waning Moon guides the way to Saturn.

solar flare

Solar System

The Sun's Ramping Up Activity — But Still Weaker Than in the Past

The Sun has recently experienced an uptick in activity, with lots of sunspots accompanied by flares, coronal mass ejections, and visible auroras — but experts still expect a mild solar cycle.

hot and swollen star eating a planet much smaller than it


Star Caught Swallowing a Planet

For the first time, astronomers have witnessed a star eat an exoplanet.


Solar System

Magnets Are Bad News for Meteorites

Common handheld magnets can erase crucial data in ancient meteorites.


Distorted Galaxy Hints at the Nature of Dark Matter

Astronomers analyzed the gravitationally lensed image of a distant galaxy to test the nature of dark matter.

Venus and Mars in late May 2023

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

May: Leo is King in Late Spring

This month’s episode takes you on a guided tour of the key stars and planets that you’ll see on May evenings — a fun and informative way to introduce yourself to the nighttime sky!

Habitable-zone planet that looks much like Earth (art)


Where to Look for Life: Homing in on the Habitable Zone

Scientists are refining the definition of the habitable zone in an effort to aid future efforts at finding life.

Venus Orion Taurus in early May 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, April 28 – May 7

The Arch of Spring across the west enfolds Mars and Venus. Wintry Sirius nears its heliacal setting low in the southwest. The Summer Triangle stars come into view one by one in the east.

2013 Astronomy Day celebration in Boston

People, Places, and Events

Celebrate Astronomy Day This Weekend!

On Saturday, April 29, 2023, come out and celebrate Astronomy Day! Here are some easy ways that you can explore the sky.

total eclipse april 2023 AlsonWong label

Astronomy & Observing News

Totality “Down Under”

When the Moon’s shadow swept across Earth on April 20th, tens of thousands traveled to Australia, Timor-Leste, and Indonesia to witness the celestial spectacle.

bright dot with stream with bright edges and mostly empty interior shooting out from it, with a zoom on the bright dot showing it's a ring

Black Holes

First Image of Black Hole Shadow and Jet Together

For the first time, astronomers have seen how the big plasma jet shot out by a supermassive black hole connects to the material falling into the black hole.

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Japanese Mission Attempts Moon Landing, Falls Silent (Update)

The Hakuto R lander, built by Tokyo-based iSpace, was to be a commercial mission to the Moon, but it has yet to phone home on landing day.

Moon passing Mars, Pollus and Castor, April 25-26, 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, April 21 – 30

The Moon hops past Venus and then Mars. Hydra snakes up, the Pointers point down, and the Arch of Spring spans the west.

Antenna of the SMA - Hawai'i March 2023 S&T tour

People, Places, and Events

Travel Diary: The Skies and Astronomical Sights of Hawai'i

Last March, S&T editor Diana Hannikainen accompanied a group of stargazers to the islands of Hawai'i on an astronomical adventure.

29-hour-old Moon

Explore the Night with Bob King

See the Young Moon and the Lyrid Meteor Shower

We have an exciting week ahead with a crescent Moon that might break your observing record followed by a well-timed Lyrid meteor shower.