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Solar System

Jupiter's Moons: 10 More Found, 79 Known

Over the past 18 months, astronomers have painstakingly tracked a dozen tiny moons that they found circling the giant planet Jupiter.

Moon-Venus-Mercury July 14-15 300px

Celestial News & Events

Tour July's Sky: Planet Parade

This month's astronomy podcast tells you how to spot a five bright planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn — in the evening sky.

Venus and Gemini in mid-June

Celestial News & Events

Tour June's Sky: Venus, Jupiter & Saturn

As you'll learn in this month's astronomy podcast, Jupiter and Saturn will compete with brilliant Venus for your attention in the late-evening sky.

Insight stowed for launch

Solar System

NASA's InSight Lander Heads to Mars

Rising through thick fog from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. NASA's latest mission intends to probe deeply into Mars and decipher how it formed.

Venus and Moon, May17-18

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

Tour May's Sky: Venus Welcomes Jupiter

This month's astronomy podcast tells you how to use Venus and the Big Dipper to find many bright stars and constellations. Meanwhile, Jupiter lurks low in the east after darkness falls.

Moon + Venus on April 17-18

Celestial News & Events

Tour April's Sky: Venus Ascending

This month's astronomy podcast guides you around the nighttime sky during April, giving you easy-to-follow help for finding bright planets and key stars after the Sun goes down.

Oumuamua painting by Hartmann

Solar System

Is ‘Oumuamua an Interstellar Pancake?

A new analysis of more than 800 telescopic observations suggests that our first known interstellar visitor could have the shape of a cigar or a fat disk.

24-hour clock with telescopes

Astronomy and Society

Daylight-Saving Time? Bah, Humbug!

Still controversial, the annual switch to daylight saving time is annoying to backyard astronomers — and probably doesn't save any energy after all.

Mercury & Venus in March 2018 480p

Celestial News & Events

Tour March's Sky: Planet Peeks at Dusk

With winter's chill fading away, this is a great time to gaze up into the stars — and to be ready for an evening appearance by fleet-footed Mercury. This month's astronomy podcast guides you around the nighttime sky.

Mars and Antares in Scorpius

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

Tour February's Sky: Treats for Early Risers

February's astronomy podcast offers you a trio of bright planets to spot before dawn and a plethora of bright stars to check out each evening.

Sequence of a total lunar eclipse

Celestial News & Events

The "Trifecta" Lunar Eclipse on January 31st

Get ready for a celestial event — a total lunar eclipse during the month's second full Moon and near lunar perigee — that hasn't happened in 35 years!

Ice cliff on Mars

Spacecraft and Space Missions

Water Ice Found Exposed in Martian Cliffs

Thick sheets of water ice, some barely buried beneath the surface and likely more than 100 meters thick, have been spotted on several Martian cliff faces.

Jupiter-Mars-Moon on January 10-12

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

Tour January's Sky: Planet Pairings at Dawn

January's astronomy podcast describes how to spot Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in the predawn sky during January — plus you'll learn about a "trifecta" full Moon at month's end.

Jan 2018 Lunar Eclipse

Celestial News & Events

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2018

Two total lunar eclipses occur this year, the first since late 2015, in January and July. Meanwhile, three solar eclipses take place in 2018 — all of them only partial cover-ups.

Colorful Perseid fireball

Celestial News & Events

The Best Meteor Showers in 2018

More than a dozen times each year, we experience a pulse of "shooting stars" from an annual meteor shower. Sky & Telescope predicts that the two best meteor showers in 2018 will be the Perseids in mid-August and the Geminids in mid-December.

Portrayal of 'Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1)

Solar System

`Oumuamua: Red, Tumbling, and Silent

Astronomers' recent observations of our first-known interstellar visitor reveal that it is very strange indeed.

Solar Eclipse 2017

People, Places, and Events

Eye Damage Reported from August's Eclipse

For a young woman who stared too long on August 21st, the partially eclipsed Sun left a lasting impression — on her retinas.

Magnetic field of Earth

Solar System

Why is Earth Magnetized and Venus Not?

A new analysis reveals that the gigantic impact that led to the Moon's formation might have also switched on Earth's magnetic field.

December's predawn view

Celestial News & Events

Tour December's Sky: See 3 Planets at Dawn

As you'll hear in December's astronomy podcast, early risers are treated with views of Jupiter (obvious), Mars (not as easy), and Mercury (timing is everything!).

Arecibo antennas in 2009

Professional Telescopes

Arecibo Observatory Weathers Funding Uncertainty

The U.S. National Science Foundation will continue to fund the iconic radio dish, though at a much-reduced level, as it seeks partners to share in the facility's operation.