What Is the Ecliptic?
The ecliptic, simply put, is the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. It extends beyond that to include the seven other planets.
Four Things to Know About the Next Solar Eclipse
Prepare for the 2020 solar eclipse with these basic facts and other resources.
What Is a Quasar?
A quasar is a supermassive black hole gorging on gas in the heart of a distant galaxy.
How Many Planets Are In Our Solar System?
There are eight planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
What Is a Star Party, and Where Can I Find One?
Texas Star Party upper field, 2009.Ron Ronhaar and Todd Hargis If you're an amateur astronomer and planning a vacation for your family, consider planning a vacation around a star party. Deep-sky star parties — as opposed to more traditional, general-interest conventions — have become a permanent part of the amateur…
What are Asteroids, Comets & Meteors?
Asteroids, comets, meteors — what’s the difference? Is a comet just an asteroid with a tail? And what makes a meteor different from the other two?
The Kavli Foundation Q&A: The Extraterrestrial Next Door
Researchers discuss new signs of chemistry favorable to life at Mars, Europa, and Enceladus — plus how to probe for its presence with interplanetary missions.
The Kavli Foundation Q&A: Astrochemistry and the Origin of Life
From serendipitous camping trips to forging international consensus on big-budget observatories, the 2018 Kavli Prize laureate discusses her personal and professional journey into the field of astrochemistry.
The Kavli Foundation Q&A: How Will the TESS Mission Accelerate the Hunt for Livable Alien Worlds?
The just-launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) could soon provide the breakthrough identification of dozens of potentially habitable exoplanets right in our cosmic backyard
The Kavli Foundation Q&A: A "Living Dead" Star Sheds Light on the Early Universe
A newfound star in a nearby galaxy appears to have cheated death by blowing up at least twice as a supernova. It could be a throwback to the first stars that ever formed.
What is the Saros Cycle and How Does It Foretell Eclipses?
A slow, relentless rhythm, known as the saros cycle, is hidden away in the movements of the Moon and Sun. How does it foretell eclipses — and how could Babylonians discover its existence long before modern science and technology?
Do the Sun and Moon Really Rise in the East?
"As sure as the Sun rises in the east . . ." Except it doesn't! Find out how Earth's tilt changes the location of sunrise (and sunset) throughout the year.
What is the Winter Solstice?
The moment the Sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky marks the December solstice, the official beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere (where it is called the winter solstice) and a time of great celebration in many northern cultures.
The Kavli Foundation Q&A: A New Map of Dark Matter?
The prevailing view of the universe has just passed a rigorous new test, but the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy remain frustratingly unsolved.
The Kavli Foundation Q&A: What's Life Like at the Remotest Telescopes?
From oxygen-thin mountaintops to barren deserts to the South Pole, many of the world’s most powerful telescopes are in distant, inhospitable environments. Three researchers share their adventures pursuing science at the farthest corners of the world.
Sky & Telescope Answers Your Eclipse Questions: Part II
A few weeks ago we took to Twitter and Facebook to find out what questions you wanted answered about the August 21st Total Solar Eclipse. Now we're back with Part II of the answers!
Sky & Telescope Answers Your Eclipse Questions
A few weeks ago we took to Twitter and Facebook to find out what questions you wanted answered about the August 21st Total Solar Eclipse. Now we're back with the answers!
The Kavli Foundation Q&A: Do Globular Clusters Generate Black Holes?
Much to their surprise, scientists are finding dozens of black holes deep within densely packed collections of stars called globular clusters. Astrophysicists are using a record-breaking computer simulation to learn their secrets, including whether the clusters gave rise to recently observed ripples in space-time.
The Kavli Foundation Q&A: How Did the First Quasars Form?
Thanks to a record haul of new, ultra-distant quasars—powerhouses of light from the farthest reaches of the universe—astrophysicists can now piece together the rise of mighty objects in the early cosmos.
What’s Inside a Black Hole?
What’s inside a black hole? Wormholes? Alternate universes? If you fell into a black hole, only one thing’s for sure: its tidal forces would kill you.