SKYWATCH: SPACE ROCK TO BUZZ EARTH, MERCURY POINTS TO THIN MOON, AND MORE

Observing
Path of asteroid 2012 DA14

Asteroid 2012 DA14 to Zip Past Earth

January 30, 2013                                                                | On February 15th, a 150-foot-wide rock will make the closest pass by Earth of any asteroid predicted far in advance. You might be able to follow it in a telescope. > read more

Mercury in February 2013

January 31, 2013                                                                | Mercury has a fine evening apparition in February 2013, featuring an extraordinarily close conjunction with Mars. > read more

Tour February’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

February 1, 2013                                                                  | Evening skies feature two bright planets: Mercury, which lurks low in the west after sunset around the 16th, and Jupiter, which reigns high in the southern sky all month long. > read more

News

M106

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Gendler

Amateurs Help Hubble Unveil Beautiful Spiral

February 6, 2013                                                                | Robert Gendler stitched together a stunning mosaic of spiral galaxy M106, filling in gaps in Hubble coverage with his own and Jay GaBany’s ground-based observations. > read more

Five Amateurs Share Edgar Wilson Award

February 8, 2013                                                                | Discovering a comet remains one of amateur astronomy’s greatest accomplishments, and five individuals are being honored for doing just that. > read more

Earth-Size Planets Common, But Are They Habitable?

February 6, 2013                                                                | The best place to look for nearby Earth-size planets might be the smallest, coolest stars — but these stars could also be bad for creating Earth-like planets. > read more

Harbingers of Death: Predicting Supernovae

February 6, 2013                                                                | A massive outburst may give a month’s advance notice of when certain giant stars will go supernova. That’s not great for evacuation plans, but perfect for observers who want to catch a supernova in action. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

View in bright twilight

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

February 8, 2013                                                                  | Mercury and Mars have a close conjunction low in the sunset, then separate. Try for a record young crescent Moon. And a little asteroid whizzes close by Earth; it’ll be no small trick to locate in a telescope. > read more

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