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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trio of Spacecraft Launch for the Moon
NASA’s Lunar Flashlight, iSpace’s Hakuto R from Japan, and the United Arab Emirates' Rashid rover are all headed to the Moon after launching aboard a SpaceX rocket.
The Holmdel Horn That "Heard" the Big Bang Is at Risk
Redevelopment plans could threaten the site that houses the Holmdel Horn, the instrument responsible for hearing the "hiss" of background radiation from the Big Bang.
This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 9 – 16
Mars, just past opposition, remains bright as it aligns between Aldebaran and Capella. Jupiter shines highest after dusk. And watch for the Geminid meteors.
Observing Report: Moon Occults Mars
Sky & Telescope editors report their observations of last night's celestial event: Mars grazing or disappearing behind the Moon.
Tsunamis Carried Boulders Across Ancient Martian Ocean
Long-ago impacts tossed up the floors of an ancient ocean on the Red Planet and carried debris to the landing site of NASA’s Viking 1 lander.
Explore the Night with Bob King
Mars Mesmerizes at Opposition
It may not be the closest opposition, but this time around Mars arcs high across the sky where good seeing promises sharp views. That's not all. On December 7th, one night before opposition, the full Moon occults the Red Planet!
Gamma-ray Burst Surprise
Gamma-ray bursts are generally thought to come in two flavors — supernovae or neutron star mergers. But discoveries are blurring that line.
Apollo 17 in Pictures: “God Willing, as We Shall Return”
On the 50th anniversary of Apollo 17, we look back at iconic photos as well as rarely seen images from the mission.
Status Update: Artemis 1's CubeSat Missions
Some of the small missions deployed from Artemis 1 will go on to do great things, while others remain silent.