The cover of the July 2021 issue

Open Cluster Exoplanets, Globular Cluster Formation, and Shooting Star Clusters

The July 2021 issue of Sky & Telescope is absolutely sparkling with star clusters. We’re taking a deep dive into these glittering showpieces with guides on observing and photographing the best clusters summer has to offer. Plus, we peek into their histories and the planets hiding deep inside open clusters. This issue also has several observing challenges for fans of Saturn and Pluto. And if all these sparklers aren’t enough, we’re also looking 40 years ahead to Comet Halley’s next appearance.


Relics of a Distant Past

A combination of observations and simulations is upending our ideas about how globular clusters formed.

By J. M. Diederik Kruijssen

Open Cluster Exoplanets

Worlds found in open clusters are giving astronomers a unique perspective on how planetary systems come to look the way they do.

By Greg Bryant

Sparkles in the Dark

Target these glittering star clusters year-round — they look great even through moonlight.

By Ron Brecher

Summer’s Sparklers

Spend some time sifting through this collection of favorites during July’s warmer evenings.

By Alan Whitman

Halley’s Comet: A Look Back and Ahead

Last summer’s surprise Comet NEOWISE echoed the return of the most famous “dirty snowball” of all.

By Joe Rao

Beyond the Printed Page:

The Sounds of Mars

Listen to audio recordings from NASA’s Perseverance rover.

Asteroid Apophis

Read about how astronomers determined that 99942 Apophis will not collide with Earth in 2068.

The New General Catalogue

Learn all about the histories of thousands of NGC and IC objects.

Earth as an Exoplanet

Find out more about the 1,004 main-sequence stars that could spot Earth transiting the Sun.


The Path from Arcturus to Vega

Let two of the season’s brightest stars guide you to evening delights.

By Fred Schaaf

Visiting Pluto

Trek into eastern Sagittarius to locate this remote dwarf planet.

By Bob King  

Saturnian Challenges

Try to spot these elusive features in Saturn’s rings.

By Thomas A. Dobbins  

Behind the Shield

One part of Scutum succumbs to light pollution; another holds up just fine.  

By Ken Hewitt-White

Table of Contents

See what else July's issue has to offer.


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