SKYWATCH: GEMINIDS TO PEAK SATURDAY, WATER PLUMES ON EUROPA, AND MORE

News
water plume on Europa

Kurt Retherford (Southwest Research Institute)

Plumes on Europa

December 12, 2013                                                                | New Hubble Space Telescope observations provide the best evidence yet that Jupiter’s icy moon spits out water vapor from its surface. If real, such plumes could reach more than 100 miles above the little world’s surface and rain down an extraterrestrial form of snow. > read more

 

Curiosity Finds a Once-Habitable Mars

December 13, 2013                                                                | Ancient Mars seems to have had all the necessities as a comfy habitat for microbial life. > read more

 

New View of Saturn’s Hexagon

December 9, 2013                                                                | NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured phenomenal images of the gigantic weather system at Saturn’s north pole. This so-called “hexagon” is nearly three times wider than Earth is. > read more

 

A Double Black Hole?

December 10, 2013                                                                | Strange emission from a distant galaxy paints an enigmatic picture of what’s happening inside its core. One solution: instead of one supermassive black hole, the galaxy hosts two trapped in a tight dance around each other. > read more

 

Hubble Homes in on Hazy Worlds

December 12, 2013                                                                | Two teams have announced the discovery of water on alien worlds. But they found less water than expected, suggesting these planets are surrounded by a high-altitude haze. > read more

 

Observing

Meteor

Alan Dyer

Geminid Meteors to Pierce the Moonlight

December 6, 2013                                                                | Bits of rock from a fried asteroid flash across the night sky in the mid-December sky — but bright moonlight will diminish the performance. > read more

 

Tour December’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

December 1, 2013                                                                  | December’s crystal-clear skies offer Venus low in the west after sunset, a “tower of brilliance” (including Jupiter) rising in the east, and the prospect of a nice showing by Comet ISON in the predawn sky early in the month. > read more

 

Community

Comet ISON on Nov. 15, 2013

Damian Peach / SkyandTelescope.com

S&T‘s Comet ISON Photo Contest

December 6, 2013                                                                | The “comet of the century” famously lost its battle against the Sun, but our photo contest carries on with a chance to win some hefty prizes. And there are only about 2 weeks to the deadline! > read more

 

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

Looking east at nightfall

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

December 13, 2013                                                                  | The days grow their shortest, the Geminid meteors shower, and the Moon passes through. . . Orion?! > read more

 

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