Explore Binary Stars on Your Computer
Additional information from the August 2012 article Solve Binary Stars Yourself. Provides links to various programs that allow users to explore binary stars up close and personal.
Martian Dunes On the Move
Images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught dunes migrating across the Red Planet's surface, contradicting the common wisdom that the planet's current climate can't get sand moving on a large scale.
Black Hole Eats Stripped Star
A closely-watched flare from a gargantuan black hole in a distant galaxy has revealed to astronomers not only the mass of the black hole that ate the snack but the type of star that met its end as the meal.
Cosmic Ray Origin Still Mysterious
Observations out of Antarctica support the idea that the most energetic of the superspeedy space particles raining down on Earth are not from gamma-ray bursts. The new result prolongs a long-standing mystery in astrophysics.
Interview with Jim Bell
Planetary scientist Jim Bell chats with S&T's Camille Carlisle about NASA's incredible new moon images, featured in the June issue. Plus, see more spectacularly detailed lunar landscapes.
Hubble Celebrates as Shuttle Retires
Hubble is beginning celebrations early for its 22nd birthday with this composite image, a fantastic combination of ground- and space-based observations of the Tarantula Nebula.
WISE Identifies Mystery Sources
Astronomers are using infrared observations from NASA's WISE spacecraft to identify sources seen at energies a million times greater. The work may help astronomers figure out whether they've detected unknown cosmic phenomena.
Far-out Black Hole Hints
“Star cities” orbiting galaxies may reveal the mass of the gargantuan black hole hidden deep in the galaxy’s heart. The new relation could be more evidence for a large-scale black hole-galaxy link — or, it could mean one of the latest revolutions in astrophysics isn’t the full story.
New ALMA Images Stoke Exoplanet Flame
Astronomers have released the first new science results from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a still-under-construction network of 66 antennas in northern Chile. The new observations suggest the contentious Fomalhaut star system may have two small planets shepherding its gigantic ring.
Venus Passes the Pleiades
Venus is passing through the Pleiades in a breathtaking spectacle that reaches its peak on April 3rd. This unique pairing is part of a series of Venus events in 2012, culminating in the June transit of the Sun.
Sky & Telescope May 2012
Sky & Telescope's May 2012 issue is now available to digital subscribers. Some print subscribers may have already received it, and it's officially on sale at newsstands starting April 3rd.
Twin-Eyed Telescope Sees Sharp Stars
The Large Binocular Telescope has opened one of its new eyes on the sky, revealing exoplanets and stars with a precision that rivals the best ground-based observatories astronomers have.
Smooth Sailing on Titan
Waves don't grow much — if at all — on Saturn's moon Titan. However, the calm lakes and seas might see some surface wrinkles in a few years when the northern hemisphere's summer arrives.
Aurora Alert — Check Your Skies
A huge coronal mass ejection from the Sun struck Earth's magnetic field around 11:00 UT (6 a.m. EST or 3 a.m. PST) on Thursday, March 8th.
Distant Galaxies Hint at Exotic Physics
Observations of galaxies shooting high-powered jets from their cores suggest the existence of a hypothetical particle. While speculative, the results could mean that photons aren't as dependable as we envision them to be.
In Memoriam, Star-style
Twenty-five years ago, a star exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The first easily seen supernova since before astronomers turned telescopes to study the heavens, the explosion heralded a new age of astronomy.
Venus on the Rise
Noticed an exceptionally bright beacon in the evening sky? The planet Venus has begun its highest foray up the sky's dome, surprising at least one casual observer as it prepares for its conjunction with the Moon and Jupiter in March.
No Winds of Change for Eta Carinae
Faint echoes from the massive, hot star’s Great Eruption suggest that a standard explanation for that event may not match what really happen. Not conclusive, the new study is sure to kick off debate among stellar astronomers.
The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs
Two teams of astronomers have independently announced the detection of a dwarf galaxy being eaten by another dwarf galaxy, NGC 4449. Seen in this image as a faint swipe of red stars, the satellite will probably be shredded after only a few orbits of its host, adding its stars to that galaxy's collection.
The Spin's the Thing
Astrophysicists’ new work suggests that a black hole spits out a more powerful jet if it’s spinning the same direction as the hot material falling into it. The conclusion adds to an ongoing debate about how (or whether) the direction of a black hole's spin affects the outflow it spews into space.