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Alpha Persei Cluster (Melotte 20)

Meet the Stars

Meet Mirfak, the Supergiant of Perseus

Mirfak, the brightest star in the constellation Perseus, is a yellow supergiant star with an uncertain fate.

grey moon landscape with an astronaut walking

Spacecraft and Space Missions

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.

Orange star in star field

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Scheat, the Peak of Pegasus

Meet Scheat, the orange giant star that peaks the Great Square of Pegasus in autumn skies in the Northern Hemisphere.

Interferometry image of Rasalhague

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Rasalhague, the Star with the Snake

Rasalhague, a star rotating so fast it has squashed itself, has a fascinating connection to the mythology of healing.

The Sun with trees in the foreground

Meet the Stars

Meet The Sun, Our Home Star

In this installment of Meet the Stars, we get to know the nearest one: our Sun. Its properties — like its stability — likely led to life on Earth.

Denebola

Night Sky Sights

Meet Denebola, and Catch a Lion by the Tail

Meet Denebola, the tail of Leo, the Lion. This young star is a fast rotater but otherwise not that different from our Sun.

Delayed in lunar orbit

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Apollo 16 in Pictures: “The Most Dazzling Place”

We celebrate Apollo 16 with a look back at photos from the mission that took two astronauts to the lunar surface for three days of exploration.

Canis Minor

Night Sky Sights

Meet Procyon, Orion’s Littler Dog

Meet Procyon, the brightest of the few stars in Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog. On its way to becoming a giant, this star is part of the Winter Triangle and Wniter Hexagon asterisms.

Shackleton Crater

Meet the Stars

Meet Shackleton Crater: Future Moon Landing Site

Shackleton Crater at the lunar south pole is a site of future exploration — and you can even see it through your telescope during favorable librations.

Labeled Big Dipper

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Mizar and Alcor: The Horse and Rider

Mizar and Alcor, stars sometimes referred to as "the horse and the rider," serve as a vision test and an introduction to "double stars."

Proxima Centauri flare

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Proxima Centauri: The Closest Star

Proxima Centauri is the dimmest and smallest of the Alpha Centauri system, but it has the honor of being the nearest star.

Gamma Cassiopeia

Night Sky Sights

Meet Gamma Cassiopeiae, the Classic Eruptive Variable

Gamma Cassiopeia may lack a proper name, but the middle star of the "W"-shape constellation is worth finding on the sky.

Astronaut stands to the left of American flag on the lunar surface, with hills in the background

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Fifty Years Ago in Photos: Apollo 15 Astronauts Explore the Moon

See photos — some familiar and some rarely seen — from the Apollo 15 mission, which launched place 50 years ago today.

close up of corner of jupiter with gaynmede in background

Astronomy & Observing News

Juno’s Ganymede Flyby: Video Update

NASA's Juno flew by Jupiter's Ganymede, the biggest moon in the solar system, on June 7, 2021.

Southern Cross

Night Sky Sights

Meet Gacrux, the Top of the Cross

Gacrux is a treat for southern observers — the closest red giant to Earth and the tip of the famous Southern Cross.

full Moon

Night Sky Sights

7 Easy Things to See on the “Supermoon”

Seven easy and rewarding targets to explore when the Moon is full.

Alnilam in Orion

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Alnilam, Orion’s Belt Buckle

Alnilam, the middle star of Orion's distinctive belt, is a distant supergiant that will (eventually) end its life in a supernova.

Castor and Pollux

Meet the Stars

Meet Castor, Six Stars in One

Castor, a prime ornament of the Gemini constellation and one of the brightest stars in the sky, is actually a system of stars with six unique members.

Kochab in the Little Dipper

Meet the Stars

Meet Kochab, a Guardian of the Pole

Meet the stars: Kochab is no record-breaking bright star, but it's easy enough to find — and it may have played an important role through history.

Aldebaran vs. the Sun

Meet the Stars

Meet Aldebaran, the Bull’s Eye

Learn more about Aldebaran, the red-orange giant star that "follows" the Pleiades across the sky.

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