The cover of the September 2024 issue

Comets’ Lives, Stephan’s Quintet, and Habitable Worlds

In the September 2024 issue of Sky & Telescope, we take you behind the scenes of the lives of comets. Where did they come from? Where do they end up? We’ll guide you along their exciting journey through time and space, starting with their remote beginnings in the Oort Cloud. Speaking of the Kuiper Belt, we also dive into the discovery of this region of icy bodies beyond Neptune, how it got its name — and why it might be up for a rebranding. Then we move on to even more distant objects: exoplanets. We’re taking a look at when and how we’ll find habitable worlds outside our solar system. As we develop bigger and better telescopes, we may soon be able to photograph these far-off worlds directly. But until we can see that deeply, we can photograph all the fantastic objects we can already see in the sky, like Stephan’s Quintet (not a bad deal we’d say). And this month, we have a guide on how you can do so from the comfort of your living room.


The Secret Lives of Comets

As we await the apparition of Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS this fall, let’s trace its path through time and space.

By Arwen Rimmer

Who First Described the Comet Belt Just Beyond Neptune?

It’s time the so-called Kuiper Belt was finally re-branded.

By Ken Croswell

A Deep Dive into Stephan’s Quintet

Let’s visit the original compact group of galaxies.

By Howard Banich

Seeing Habitable Worlds

Bigger and better upcoming telescopes are primed to snap images of diverse exoplanets.

By Benjamin Skuse

Going Remote

Set up your gear so you can operate it from anywhere in the world.

By Ron Brecher

Beyond the Printed Page:

Venus’s Volcanoes

Read about the project that found unambiguous evidence for active volcanism on Venus.

Dinkinesh’s Friend

Learn about Dinkinesh’s newly discovered moon and why it’s so odd.

Track Triton

Check out our tool for tracking Neptune’s moon Triton.

Saturn Occultation

Find out what time on September 17th Saturn will disappear behind the Moon for your area.


Looking for Chaos?

A dark void in Cygnus serves as a visual reminder of what chaos really means.

By Stephen James O’Meara

Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS on the Morning Stage

The dawn sky is briefly adorned with a low-hanging icy visitor.

By Bob King

A Narrow View of Saturn’s Rings

This year may present a rare opportunity to glimpse the planet’s ever-changing F ring.

By Thomas A. Dobbins

A Ghostly Bubble in Space

The brightest planetary nebula in the northern heavens rides high this month.

By Ken Hewitt-White

Table of Contents

See what else September’s issue has to offer.


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