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Most distant quasar

Science-based Q&A

What Is a Quasar?

A quasar is a supermassive black hole gorging on gas in the heart of a distant galaxy.

Image of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

Getting Started in Planetary Imaging

It's planet season! Here are some tips to help you start imaging the giant planets while they're in easy view.

Camera and Milky Way

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

Astrophotography: How Long Can You Go?

While many astrophotographers follow the "rule of 500" (or 300), some experimentation can help find the right exposure time for your setup.

Hot vs. Cold

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

Beating the Heat in Astrophotography

Keeping your camera cool is an essential element to obtaining good clean images in astrophotography.

Astronomy Questions & Answers

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.

Finder for Berkeley 29

Beyond the Printed Page

Finder Charts for "Meet the Neighbors" in the October 2021 issue

If you read Steve Gottlieb's article in the October 2021 issue of Sky & Telescope entitled "Meet the Neighbors: The Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Family," you likely followed the link for more finder charts. We include an updated finder chart (that appears on page 28) with a revised position for Wray…

Finder for Going Deep October 2021

Beyond the Printed Page

Going Deep October 2021: Finder Charts for Arp Galaxies

Use these finders to locate the Arp targets discussed in the Going Deep column in the October 2021 issue.

Familiar analog

Stargazing Basics

Stargazing Forecast: Will You Have Clear Skies Tonight?

These websites and apps can help you forecast the astronomical observing conditions for your next night out.

Astronomy Questions & Answers

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…

handkerchief flats

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

Demystifying Flat-Frame Calibration

Many astrophotographers skip flat fields because they seem complicated. But the flats can greatly improve your images — here's how to do them.

Pattern noise in an image

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

Dark Frames and Bias Frames Demystified

The road to clean, easy-to-process data begins with proper image calibration, and the first step is to take dark and bias calibration frames.

Top of the World

Imaging Foundations with Richard Wright

Astrophotography On The Go: When Failure Is Not An Option

Anytime you travel beyond your own backyard to do astrophotography, the whole endeavor can be lost because of one missing link in the chain. Here's what to remember.

Community Leaders: Notable Astronomers

George Carruthers: Telescope Maker and Lunar Pioneer

Astronomer and engineer George Carruthers (1939–2020) designed and built the first observatory on another world.

image brightness change example

Imaging Foundations with Richard Wright

How Focal Ratio Affects Your Astro Images

Understand focal ratio to improve your astrophotography.

Beyond the Printed Page

Finders for "Southerly Planetary Nebulae"

Find close-up finders for 16 targets covered in Don Ferguson's observing article in the June 2021 issue of Sky & Telescope.

Luminance image of M81 and M82

Imaging Foundations with Richard Wright

Tips for Imaging Galaxies from Your Backyard

You don't need a dark-sky location to shoot galaxies — you can capture them from your backyard with these tips.

Reflected starlight

Community Leaders: Notable Astronomers

Giorgia Hofer, Nightscape Astrophotographer

An Italian accountant, captivated by the sky since childhood, learned astrophotography to bring the heavens home with her.

Daytime planet fest

Daylight Phenomena

Planets and Comets Can't Hide from SOHO's Eye

With the help of the Solar Heliospheric Observatory you can not only keep track of the planets in the daytime sky but maybe even discover a comet.

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

In Astrophotography, Bigger Is Not Always Better!

Don't be intimidated by astrophotography equipment — modest equipment can do great things.

Imaging Foundations with Richard Wright

A Free Tool for Lucky Imaging

Check out this free astrophotography software package that'll make processing your lucky images — especially of the Sun and Moon — a snap.

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