This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 10 – 19
Comet ZTF is fading and receding into the distance. On the other hand, it's now conveniently placed high overhead in early evening in a moonless sky; the waning Moon doesn't rise until late.
The Universe Is Too Smooth By Half
Results from a complex new analysis support cosmologists’ suspicions that something is missing from our understanding of the universe.
Astronomers Discover Unexpected Ring around Distant Dwarf Planet
There’s a strangely large-diameter ring around the outer solar system world Quaoar.
This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 3 – 12
Comet ZTF is still near its brightest, moonlight and all. Around the Big and Little Dog Stars, trace out the stick-figure patterns of the big and little dogs. A ghostly unicorn haunts the inside of the Winter Triangle.
Terence Dickinson (1943 – 2023)
Terence Dickinson, Canadian astronomer and author of numerous popular books on astronomy, has passed away.
Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson
Lucy Mission Has a New Asteroid to Fly By
NASA’s Lucy mission now has a new first target of opportunity, a main-belt asteroid it will visit this November.
Understanding the Tails of Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3)
We explore Comet ZTF's remarkable trio of tails and share the latest news and photos.
February: Winterʼs Dazzling Stars
February 4th marks the midway point between Decemberʼs solstice and the March equinox. Celebrate that celestial milestone by getting outside to gaze in awe at the amazing array of bright stars youʼll find overhead on February evenings.
Astronomers Find a Dozen More Moons for Jupiter
The discovery of a dozen new moons for Jupiter makes the king of planets the king of moons, too — at least for now.
See Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3) Dash Between Big and Little Dippers
Forget the hype and go outside to enjoy the real thing — a relatively bright comet you can see in binoculars from a dark sky.
This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 27 – February 5
Comet ZTF is at its best this week — but every night moonlight encroaches on the scene until a later and later hour. Along the way, the Moon occults Mars for the southern U.S. and again forms isosceles triangles with naked-eyestars.
Tiny Asteroid 2023 BU to Miss Earth
A recently discovered asteroid will pass exceptionally close to Earth on January 26th. Here's how to see it. Also, Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3) is brightening nicely, with three tails visible in binos.
New Observations Reveal Galaxies Near and Far
Astronomers at this month's big winter conference explored intriguing small galaxies at various points in cosmic history.
Hubble and Webb Image Galaxies’ Lost Stars
Deep images of galaxy clusters reveals the light of wandering stars. What set these stars free from their hosts?
JWST Investigates an Exoplanet "Corgi"
The James Webb Space Telescope has found the tiny tail of a close-in exoplanet that's losing its atmosphere.
Light Pollution Is Increasing Even Faster Than We Realized
The average brightness of the night sky is increasing by 10% every year, making the stars less visible.
This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 20 – 29
Venus and Saturn have a close conjunction in twilight. Comet ZTF heads into its best week. And Betelgeuse overtakes Sirius ever earlier in the night.
See a Giant Sunspot!
If you have a solar filter, check out the sunspot group AR 3190 that's crossing the solar disk this week.
The Moons of the Solar System
Not so long ago, astronomers thought only a few dozen moons orbited the planets of our solar system. Today, the total count tops 170!
Amateur Astronomers Find Glowing Gas Arc Near Andromeda
An arc that glows green thanks to doubly ionized oxygen appears near the Andromeda Galaxy in a photo obtained by amateur astronomers.