An early outcome from Rosetta’s scrutiny of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is that the isotopes in its water have distinctly different ratios from those on Earth.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft spent 14 months photographing Vesta from close range. Now researchers have completed a global map of the asteroid’s surface geology.
Right on cue, New Horizons spacecraft has awakened from its final electronic hibernation. Seven months from now, it will make the first-ever visit to Pluto.
THIS WEEK’S SKY AT A GLANCE
The Geminids greet stargazers over the weekend, and the Moon rises later every night, clearing the evening sky for meteor-spotting and deep-sky observing. Later in the week, the waning crescent will pair with Saturn for early risers.
The Geminids, an impressive annual meteor shower sparked by dust and debris shed from a small asteroid, peaks this weekend.
The latest Comet Lovejoy should reach 5th magnitude in late December and January, when it will be nicely placed high in the dark for your binoculars or telescope. It could even become detectable naked-eye.
Venus Finally Comes Out Of Hiding
Welcome back, Venus! The brightest planet in the sky returns just in time for the holidays.
As contributing editor Tony Flanders notes, calendars help us plan our lives. And for amateur astronomers, no plan is complete unless it includes sky events!