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Explosive forming stars


Astronomy in Pictures: The Birth of Stars and Planets

Images capture the birth of stars and planets in multiple results from space- and ground-based telescopes.

Saturn and Moon at dawn, Aug. 3, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, July 28 – August 6

Venus turns super-interesting and then disappears. Mercury lingers behind it in twilight. So does little Mars in third place. On the other side of the sky, the Moon passes Saturn.

Night sky over Arches National Park

People, Places, and Events

Combine October’s “Ring of Fire” Eclipse with Stargazing 

Stargazers will be interested not only in the annular eclipse this October but also in the dark skies in parks along the eclipse path!

Venus July 24, 2023

Explore the Night with Bob King

View the Thin Crescent of Venus

With Venus approaching inferior conjunction in August here's a foolproof way to follow its thinning crescent as the planet transitions from Evening Star to Morning Star.

hot blue ball, one side brighter than the other

Stellar Science

A Jekyll-Hyde White Dwarf

The white dwarf J2033 seems to switch rapidly between two compositions.

Jellyfish galaxy


Kite-like Galaxy Trails a Million-light-year String of Gas and Star-forming Knots

A galaxy 600 million light-years away appears to be trailing gas in a string 1.2 million light-years long, but explaining its origins presents a challenge.

12P/Pons-Brooks evolution

Celestial News & Events

See Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks in Outburst!

Comet Pons-Brooks, a dim comet on its way to a great apparition next spring, suddenly sprang into action overnight, brightening by five magnitudes. Now you can see it in a 4-inch telescope.

Galaxy field with blue blob in inset


Another Early-Universe Mystery: JWST Spies Dust at Cosmic Dawn

Dust is usually the product of generations of star formation. So what is all this dust doing in the early universe, just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang?

Waxing Moon passing Gamma Virginis (Porrima) and Spica, July 23-24, 2023

Celestial News & Events

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

Low in twilight, Mercury consorts with Venus and squeaks by Regulus. The waxing gibbous Moon does what it does every July: crosses Scorpius and Sagittarius.

Image of PDS 70b and a possible Trojan body(ies)


This Planet Might Have a Sibling Sharing Its Orbit

Astronomers have spotted the first solid evidence for a planetary Trojan body forming in another system outside our own.

Neutron star

Stellar Science

Astronomers Find Mysterious, Slowly Pulsing Star

An unidentified source has been beaming out a pulse of radio waves every 22 minutes since 1988.

Three red smudges could be distant galaxies or dark stars


Some Astronomers Claim Dark Star Candidates in Webb Images

Three distant galaxies imaged by the James Webb Space Telescope might actually be "dark stars" powered by dark matter annihilation, claims a team of astronomers.

Waxing crescent Moon passing Mercury, Venus, Mars; July 18-20, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, July 14 – 23

Venus, Mercury, and Mars, very unequal, gather low in the western twilight with the crescent Moon stepping over them and Regulus in their midst. And do you know which way the Kite of Boötes bends?

magnetar illustration: white sphere with magnetic dipole lines and flashes among the field lines

Stellar Science

Could Axions Help Fast Radio Bursts Escape a Magnetar’s Grasp?

New research proposes a way for fast radio bursts to escape the confines of a magnetized star and jet out into space — by getting help from theoretical particles called axions.


Spacecraft and Space Missions

Perseverance Finds Complex Organics (Not Life) on Mars

NASA's Perseverance has sniffed 10 rock samples and found signatures of organic molecules, a sign of a complex geochemical past.

Nova Persei expansion

Explore the Night with Bob King

Time-lapse Animations Reveal a Universe in Transformation

Deep-sky objects may appear static throughout our lifetime but by carefully "blinking" archival and current images we can discern real changes in their appearance.

Illustration of Starlink satellites in grid-like orbits over radio receiver array

Astronomy and Society

Unintended Satellite Emission May Harm Radio Astronomy

Satellites’ leakage radiation, now detected for the first time, may become a major problem for radio astronomy, as “megaconstellations” keep on growing.

Mars and Regulus in conjunction near Venus, July 19, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, July 7 – 16

Mars meets Regulus while Venus looks on. Scorpius comes to its July height — bearing its double stars, Cat's Eyes, and Little Cat's Eyes. And keep a lookout for noctilucent clouds at the end of dusk.

Galaxy field containing distant quasar and 10 equally distant galaxies

Black Holes

JWST Turns Its Eye on Supermassive Black Holes and the Galaxies That Host Them

The intrepid infrared explorer is offering astronomers a jump back in time, enabling them to see quasars at earlier times than ever before.

Milky Way

Astronomy in Pictures: Saturn and the Milky Way

The James Webb Space Telescope offers a new view of Saturn, while the IceCube Observatory creates a neutrino-painted picture of the Milky Way.