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Light pollution map for North America

Astronomy and Society

Light Pollution Is Creeping Up on the World's Observatories

Astronomical observatories enjoy some of the world’s darkest night skies. But even there light pollution is spreading, a new study suggests.

Winter Pair-a-gon

Celestial Objects to Observe

Explore Double Stars in the "Winter Pair-a-gon"

The Winter Hexagon is not only key to finding six of the season's most prominent constellations but also a gateway to a more than a half-dozen delightful double stars.

Psyche Mission

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Space Missions to Watch in 2023

A tour of Jupiter’s moons and a mission to a "metal asteroid" are among the spacecraft to be launched in 2023.

People, Places, and Events

Remembering Akira Fujii (1941-2022), Photographer Par Excellence

Acclaimed astrophotographer Akira Fujii's wide-field views of the constellations, each with impeccable star images, have been a hallmark of Sky & Telescope magazine for nearly four decades.

Venus and Saturn on Jan 22 2023

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

January: Goodbye, Saturn (Hello, Venus)

For those well north of the equator, January’s long nights provide lots of time to enjoy the starry sky — and the stars of winter are spectacular! This month’s celestial highlights include a close pass of Saturn and Venus, a strong meteor shower, and much more. Our fun and factual Sky Tour podcast provides all the details.

Venus and fading Mercury after sunset, Dec. 31, 2022

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 30 – January 7

Venus creeps up, Saturn sinks down; in three weeks the two shall meet. The Moon meets Mars Tuesday. Orion comes into his own to rule the winter, and Sirius emerges below him.

Pillars of Creation at infrared wavelengths

Astronomy & Observing News

The Top 10 Astronomy News Stories of 2022

The James Webb Space Telescope leads our list of the top news stories of the year. See what else made the Top 10!

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

NASA's Mars Insight Reaches End of Mission

NASA's groundbreaking Insight lander on Mars has fallen silent.

rainbow with black lines marking where different atoms have absorbed wavelengths of light

Solar System

What Is the Sun Made Of? New Data Deepens Debate

New data from a detector tucked under a mountain in Italy has shed light on what's inside the Sun.

Celestial Objects to Observe

The Best Meteor Showers in 2023

The two richest, most reliable annual meteor showers, the Perseids and Geminids, are Moon-free in 2023. Others showers await you too.

Pleiades

Stargazing Basics

Getting Started with Your New Telescope

How to start out right with a new telescope — a guide to what you need to know, how to set it up, and things you can start finding with it in tonight's sky.

Crescent Moon passing Venus and Mercury, Dec. 24-25, 2022

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 23 – 31

Venus and Mercury glimmer low in the southwest in twilight. The newborn crescent Moon starts the week with them, then visits Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars as it waxes toward full.

June 2022 planets

Solar System

All Eight Planets Line Up ... Again!

Echoing summer's great arc of planets at dawn, winter presents the full octet again, this time splayed across the evening sky.

Cosmic Cliffs close-ups

Stellar Science

Deep Dive Off the Cosmic Cliffs

The James Webb Space Telescope's early-release image of the Cosmic Cliffs is revealing growth spurts in young stars.

Gravitational waves from GW190521

Black Holes

The Challenge of Weird Black Hole Mergers

When spacetime shivers last only a fraction of a second — as in the case of the massive-black-hole merger GW190521 — astronomers struggle to uncover their origins.

Image of north ecliptic pole shows black field dotted with distant galaxies, spiral and elliptical

Galaxies

Webb Telescope Sees Deep and Wide into the Universe

A new deep field from the James Webb Space Telescope shows how galaxies evolved in the early universe.

Venus, Mercury, crescent Moon at dusk, Dec. 24, 2022

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 16 – 24

The Pleiades dipper, the House in the Hyades, Mars high but fading, M31 at the zenith, and a celestial string of holiday lights.

Black field spotted with galaxies marks the JADES field

Galaxies

Webb's Galactic Distance Record Is Now Official

Spectroscopic measurements confirm Webb's distance record, with images revealing galaxies that existed just 330 million years after the Big Bang.

Dust devil

Solar System

Listen to a Martian Dust Devil

The Perseverance rover on Mars has recorded a dust devil using its microphone, providing unprecedented data about these whirlwinds.

Geminid over Tucson

Meteors

Catch the Geminid Meteor Shower; Plus, Watch RW Cephei Fade

The luminous Geminid meteor shower returns. We also meet a binocular-bright star that may be experiencing Betelgeuse-like convulsions.

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