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autumn equinox

Harvest Moon Arrives on September 21st

The Harvest Moon is the full Moon closest to the autumn equinox, which occurs this year on September 22-23. What is the Harvest Moon, anyway?

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: August 5–11

Do cosmic rays affect global warming, Stardust begins its mission, and more...

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: July 22–28

Moon rock thieves caught and a new asteroid threat.


Celestial Anniversary of the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

On July 29, 1945, a Japanese submarine torpedoed the USS Indianapolis after sighting it in moonlight in the Philippine Sea. The astronomical scene repeats on July 29, 2002.

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: June 24–30

Contour Set to Launch June 28, 2002 | On July 3rd, NASA’s Comet Nucleus Tour (Contour) is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The original launch date of July 1st was scrubbed due to the discovery of particulate matter on a solar panel. The mission will encounter at least…

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: June 10–16

Mount Wilson's Improved Eye Finds Faint Companions June 14, 2002 | A new infrared camera is helping to bring the venerable 100-inch Hooker reflector atop Mount Wilson back into frontline research — despite its location near light-polluted Los Angeles. Jian Ge (Penn State) announced this week that the first-light images…

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: June 3–9

This week astronomers from around the world have gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the 200th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Below are assorted news briefs highlighting some of the announced research findings. Come back for more updates throughout the week. Image of Betelgeuse Reveals Bloated Atmosphere June 6,…


The Sun Gets a "Moon Bite" on June 10th

Skywatchers west of the Mississippi will see the Moon slide across the face of the Sun — covering more than half of it from many locations.

3rd venus

Venus and Jupiter Form a Dazzling Duo

Even the most casual skywatcher will be thrilled with this week's close pairing of two bright planets after sunset.

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: May 20–26

A brown dwarf near a star, Europa's deep ocean, and an asteroid impact that may have helped the dinosaurs.

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: May 13–19

Earth's Space Heat Shield May 17, 2002 | Earth's magnetic field protects us from much of the life-threatening radiation that comes our way. However, while it deflects most of the Earthbound high-energy particles streaming from the Sun, it doesn't do all the work. As recent data from NASA's Imager for…

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: May 6–12

Interstellar Antifreeze May 9, 2002 | Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's 12-Meter Radio Telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona, have discovered ethylene glycol in molecular clouds in Sagittarius. The molecule, according to team members Jan M. Hollis (NASA/Goddard), Frank J. Lovas (University of Illinois), Phillip R. Jewell (National Radio Astronomy…

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: April 22–28

McDonald Observatory Opens New Visitor Center April 25, 2002 | About 130,000 visitors annually come to McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas, to attend the popular star parties and constellation tours and to enjoy some of the darkest night skies in the continental U.S. Unfortunately, the observatory, a research unit…

brilliant venus

Dance of the Planets Reaches Crescendo

During the first half of May, all five bright, naked-eye planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn — are well placed for viewing in the western twilight sky about an hour after sunset.

dazzling venus saturn and relatively

Planets Dance for Annual Astronomy Celebration

The five naked-eye planets have gathered in the western sky after sunset — just in time for "Astronomy Day" on April 20th.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Dance of the Planets Concludes

The grand and beautiful planetary lineup is drawing to a close as Venus approaches Jupiter in the western sky at dusk.

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: April 8–14

Editor's Note: This week astronomers from around the world have gathered at Bristol University in Bristol, England, for the annual United Kingdom National Astronomy Meeting. The following Astro Briefs highlight news items reported at the conference. All Black Holes Sing the Same Song April 9, 2002 | Using the Rossi…

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: April 1–7

Asteroid Population Doubles April 5, 2002 | Observations made in 1996–97 by the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory show that the asteroid belt contains about twice as many objects as previously thought. The new census involved tallying up the main-belt asteroids spotted in selected locations, then extrapolating those counts…

andrew cooper

Bright Comet Meets Bright Galaxy

April 1, 2002 Contacts: Roger W. Sinnott, Senior Editor 855-638-5388 x146, rsinnott@SkyandTelescope.com Alan M. MacRobert, Senior Editor 855-638-5388 x151, macrobert@SkyandTelescope.com   Note to Editors/Producers: This release is accompanied by four publication-quality illustrations; see details below. Amateur astronomers throughout the Northern Hemisphere have marked Thursday, April 4th, on their calendars. That…

Astronomy & Observing News

Astro News Briefs: March 25–31

Forming Amino Acids in Interstellar Space March 29, 2002 | In two papers published in this week's Nature, scientists have come closer to understanding if amino acids are created in space. While these molecules clearly form on Earth today, some cosmochemists believe that the first fundamental building blocks for life…