SKYWATCH: NO-SHOW SOLAR ECLIPSE, JUPITER’S SHRINKING RED SPOT, AND MORE

 

Pro-Am Collaboration Yields Stunning Images

Amateur astronomers have teamed up with the pros to produce four stunning multiwavelength images of galaxies M101, M81, M51, and Centaurus A.

 Mysteriously Bright Supernova Explained

In 2010, a mysteriously bright supernova appeared, later sparking a debate within the astronomy community. But new images of the now-faded supernova reveal an intervening — and until now invisible — cosmic lens, which magnified its light.

Watch a Star Evolve in “Real Time”

The odd behavior of a star in the heart of the Stingray Nebula provides tantalizing evidence that we may be seeing, first-hand, its helium-shell flash: an explosive phase of nuclear burning at the end of a star’s life.

Planets’ Wacky Orbits Solved

By combining nearly 1,500 observations with sophisticated computer models, astronomers have shed light on a nearby planetary system, proving that the planets’ bizarre orbits will actually remain stable for the next 100 million years.

Spring Cleaning for Opportunity Rover

The Mars rover Opportunity has been cleaned of heavy dust coating its solar panels, thanks to some strong winds blowing over the rim of Endeavour Crater.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, April 25 – May 3

The waning crescent Moon and brilliant Venus make a fine pairing at dawn, then a new Moon results in a partial solar eclipse in Australia, and by the end of the week, a waxing crescent shines below Jupiter.

April 29th’s “No Show” Annular Solar Eclipse

The first and only annular solar eclipse of 2014 has a path that just clips Antarctica, at a location so remote that no one on Earth will get to see the event.

Jupiter’s Not-So-Great Red Spot

Astronomers don’t know why Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot has been gradually shrinking since the 1800s — or why the downsizing has accelerated during the past two years.

Tour May’s Sky: Evening Planets Align

May opens with the Moon just making its entrance into the evening sky and four planets strung along the ecliptic. Download our mp3 and head outside to take a guided tour of this month’s sky with senior contributing editor J. Kelly Beatty.

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