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JWST deep-field image showing many galaxies


The Milky Way Might Have Started Out Shaped Like a Pickle

Faraway dwarf galaxies in the universe's distant past — which will become modern Milky Ways — have an unexpectedly stretched-out appearance.

SLIM landing (art)

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Japan's "Sniper" Mission Pinpoints Landing on the Moon — Then Shuts Down

In a first for Japan, the SLIM mission stuck a pinpoint landing on the Moon. How long the mission lasts depends on whether the solar cells begin charging.

Moon passing Leo and Regulus in the evening sky, Jan. 26-27, 2024

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 19 – 28

Jupiter shines high, bright, and obvious after dusk. Mercury and Mars glimmer low, dim, and elusive for their close conjunction in the dawn.

comparison of two images of an orange circle with a dark center, no labels

The Black Hole Files with Camille Carlisle

The Black Hole Shadow in M87: One Year Later

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has released the image from its second major campaign, confirming the existence of a persistent black hole shadow and a potentially turbulent environment.

Diamond ring sequence

Celestial News & Events

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2024

Although no total lunar eclipses occur this year, skywatchers can look forward to two “central” solar eclipses — including a much-awaited total eclipse that spans the U.S. from Texas to New England.

Crab Nebula

Night Sky Sights

The Night I Met the Crab Pulsar

An account of my journey to the heart of one of most violent cosmic explosions witnessed on Earth. Plus, there's a bright supernova now visible in a Virgo Cluster galaxy.

Titan art

Solar System

Methane Icebergs Could Float in Titan’s Seas

The “magic islands” that appear and disappear in Titan’s methane-ethane seas could be hydrocarbon icebergs, a new study finds.

Small and Large Magellanic Clouds

Celestial News & Events

Clouds, Large and Small, of the Southern Sky

Jonathan Nally sets out to explore the Southern Hemisphere sky, starting with two uniquely southern sights: the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds.

Moon passing Saturn, Jan. 13-14, 2024

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 12 – 21

The evening Moon passes Saturn, then Jupiter. Venus and Mercury march in lockstep in the eastern dawn. Capella, as always, paces Orion's bright foot. And who's winning the Sirius-Betelgeuse race?

a fuzzy orb with rainbow stripes of red, yellow, green, and blue, against a dark background with white dots


Astronomers Discover “Invisible” Galaxy

A radio survey has serendipitously uncovered a galaxy with no visible stars.


Did Webb Detect an Atmosphere on Hot Super-Earth 55 Cancri e?

New Webb data suggests that the hot super-Earth 55 Cancri e has a thick atmosphere, perhaps maintained by the planet's magma ocean.

a blue orb with a red ring at its top on a black background


Unexplained Auroras Found on a Lonely Brown Dwarf

James Webb Space Telescope observations of a faint, giant world have revealed the signature of aurorae — even though the world has no star.

a dark circle with a spiral galaxy inside of it and spiral arms coming off it; the right side more detailed and colorful than the left

Black Holes

Black Holes in Early Universe Are Too Big

JWST observations of the universe as it was 12 to 13 billion years ago indicate that the black holes at the centers of small, early galaxies were more massive than expected.


Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

China Launches Einstein X-ray Observatory

China’s Einstein Probe, an X-ray astronomy mission, heads to orbit.

CHARA image of RW Cephei, before and after

Stellar Science

Astronomers Watch Another Giant Star Dim

Turns out, Betelgeuse isn't the only giant star to undergo a "Great Dimming."

Odd Radio Circle (ORC) 1


Odd Radio Circles: The Remnants of Furious Galactic Winds

New evidence suggests extreme starbursts and furious galactic winds are at the heart of odd radio circles (ORCs).

Peregrine Mission On

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Peregrine Mission Launches Successfully, But Misses the Moon

The first launch of the United Launch Alliance Vulcan-Centaur rocket attempted to send Peregrine Mission One moonward, but a propulsion problem has likely stymied that goal.

Bright Geminid meteor over Tucson


The Best Meteor Showers in 2024

The beloved Perseid meteor shower of the August vacation season will evade the moonlight in 2024, at least during the best early morning meteor-watching hours. The Lyrids and Geminids aren't so lucky.

Jupiter under Aries, early January 2024

This Week's Sky At a Glance

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

How does the Sirius-Procyon balance, newly risen, tilt for you? Depends on your latitude! Meanwhile, Triangulum and Aries teeter in balance on Jupiter.

Europa Clipper

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Top Space Missions to Watch for in 2024

Humans' return to cis-lunar space and a flagship spacecraft to Europa are among the missions to come in 2024.