The cover of the May 2024 issue

Supernova Remnants, Aurorae, and Unusual Stars

In the May 2024 issue of Sky & Telescope, we’re learning about the lives and deaths of stars. First, we have two little red dwarfs with unique properties: Barnard’s Star with the highest proper motion, and Wolf 359, which was once the dimmest star known. Then, we look at how astronomers learn about the lives and deaths of stars from the remnants of their supernovae. Also in this issue, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has revealed a whole new world of black holes in the early universe, so we’re diving into the dark unknown of these counterintuitively bright quasars. Finally, from distant blobs of light to stunning streamers of blue and green right over our heads, we reveal the secrets to chasing down and capturing the elusive aurora borealis.


Stellar Autopsies

Astronomers use supernova remnants to learn about the lives and deaths of stars that went kablooey.  

By Camille M. Carlisle

Distant Lights in the Darkness

The James Webb Space Telescope has revealed a surprisingly rich treasure-trove of black holes in the early universe.

By Fabio Pacucci

Chasing the Magic

Here’s how to improve your chances of seeing and photographing the aurora borealis.

By Marybeth Kiczenski

The Story of Wolf 359

A little red sun in Leo was once the least luminous star known.

By Ken Croswell

Tracking Barnard’s Star

High proper motion makes this red dwarf in Ophiuchus the perfect target to follow over the years.

By Howard Banich

Beyond the Printed Page:

Meet the Stars

Learn all about the brightest stars in the sky.

Pro-Am Projects

Participate in ongoing research collaborations between amateur and professional astronomers through the International Astronomical Union’s Professional-Amateur Relations in Astronomy Committee.

Space Weather Prediction Center

Use the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center to find out when the next aurora might happen.

Barnard In Motion

See Barnard’s Star in action.


Gateway to the Underworld

Spring evenings offer us a prime view of where the Sun crosses the celestial equator in autumn.

By Stephen James O’Meara

Eta Aquariid Shower Hints at Halley’s Return

Fragments from the famous comet streak across the predawn sky this month.

By Bob King

Observing Solar Granulation

The Sun’s surface is a rapidly changing, seething cauldron of delicate detail.

By Thomas A. Dobbins

Hat Hunt

An attractive galaxy with an evocative name is well placed on spring evenings.

By Ken Hewitt-White

Table of Contents

See what else May’s issue has to offer.


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