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A bright Perseid meteor


About Meteors

Meteors, meteoroids, meteorites, and fireballs — keep all these look-alike terms straight.

Stellar Science

Predicting a Stellar Catastrophe

Observations made by professional and amateur astronomers during the upcoming, once-in-a-generation eclipse of Epsilon Aurigae may reveal whether or not the star is heading for extinction.

Astronomy & Observing News

Black Holes Shape Spiral Galaxy Arms

In recent years astronomers have found that the more massive a galaxy's central black hole, the more massive the galaxy's central bulge of stars seems to be. Now it turns out that for some galaxies, this isn't true. Is there a better way to judge the mass of a galaxy's black hole just by looking?

Celestial News & Events

Eclipses in 2008

Don't miss February's total lunar eclipse (the last one anywhere until late 2010) — and look ahead to a total solar eclipse in exotic settings in August.

Geminid meteor

Celestial News & Events

Meteor Showers in 2008

With minimal moonlight to interfere, the best meteor showers of 2008 should be the Quadrantids, the Aquarids, and the Perseids.

Celestial News & Events

Sky Highlights of 2008

Eclipses, occultations, conjunctions, and meteor showers — there's no shortage of celestial action in 2008.

Professional Telescopes

Dunlap Observatory, RIP

The University of Toronto has announced that the David Dunlap Observatory, situated north of Toronto, Ontario, and the home of Canada's largest optical telescope, is to be closed and sold.

Celestial News & Events

Crescent Moon to Occult Regulus Tuesday

When a star or planet ducks behind the Moon, it's a dramatic celestial sight. This month many lucky viewers will have the chance to see either a planet (Venus) or a bright star (Regulus) play peekaboo.

Astronomy & Observing News


By using an observing method that mimics human depth perception, astronomers have found a potential dark-matter object.

Astronomy & Observing News

Danger Signals From the Sun

Scientists have found a new way to detect harmful radiation explosions from the Sun.

Astronomy & Observing News

Dwarfs, Dwarfs Everywhere

Using the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have found thousands of previously unknown dwarf galaxies.

Canis Major with Sirius

Astronomy & Observing News

Planets of Massive A Stars

Stars more massive than the Sun have planets too. But they don't fit the familiar pattern.


Vanishing Acts

One of the most dramatic sights in the nighttime sky occurs when the Moon briefly hides a planet or star — an event called an occultation. On April 25th and 26th, many observers in northwestern North America will be treated to an unusual occultation double-header as the Moon conceals Saturn on one morning and Regulus the next. Both events should be visible without optical aid if the sky conditions are good.

Blue Lagoon


Iceland: Fire, Ice, and the Aurora

Iceland is a destination with explosive geysers, majestic waterfalls, towering glaciers, steaming thermal baths — and magnificent northern lights.

Celestial News & Events

Some Special Events in 2006

It's going to be an active year for stargazers. Here's where you can find some of the highlights of 2006, including a list of upcoming lunar occultations.

Celestial News & Events

Meteor Showers in 2006

Here are the dates and estimated hourly rates of some of the better showers in 2005 and 2006.

Quadrantid meteor

Celestial Objects to Observe

History of the Quadrantid Meteors

Read about the history and source of the Quadrantid meteor stream, which provides one of the most intense annual meteor displays. Its brief, sharp maximum lasts only a few hours in early January.

Celestial News & Events

Celestial Highlights for 2005

Eclipses, conjunctions, and occultations will keep observers worldwide busy during the upcoming year. Here's a summary of what's in store.

Celestial News & Events

Three "Down Under" Occultations of Jupiter

The southwestern corner of Australia catches three occultations of Jupiter during the first three months of 2005.

Celestial News & Events

Celestial Highlights for 2004

Eclipses, occultations, comets, and a transit of Venus — it’s going to be an exciting year for observers.