New Horizons: Navigating to Pluto

In the first of a series of installments written exclusively for Sky & Telescope, New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern offers his behind-the-scenes perspective on what it took to get the spacecraft to Pluto.

How Slippery Is Dark Matter?


Dozens of galaxy cluster collisions confirm that dark matter particles probably slip right past each other within messy cluster mergers.

Dragons and Venus Arise To Fool

In case you missed April 1st’s tomfoolery, check out NASA’s new line of spacesuits (they’re a-moo-sing), the Large Hadron Collider’s rainbow universe, and . . . the possible resurgence of dragons?


This Week’s Sky at a Glance, April 3 – 11

Venus approaches the Pleiades this week, coming within 3° on April 10th through 12th. Jupiter shines high in the south at dusk, and if you’re a midnight owl, you’ll see Saturn rising around midnight.

Saturday Morning’s Total Lunar Eclipse

An unusually brief total eclipse of the Moon will be visible before dawn this Saturday, April 4th, from western North America. The eclipse happens on Saturday evening for Australia and East Asia.

What to Look for During Lunar Totality

There’s much to take in during Saturday morning’s total lunar eclipse, including a rare Moon-galaxy pairing, the splendid summer Milky Way, and a chance to see your shadow reach all the way to the Moon.

Nova Sagittarii Update

The brightest nova since 2013 erupted, peaked, dimmed, and partially rebrightened in the last two weeks, and there’s no telling what it will do next. It’s an easy catch in binoculars before dawn, a bit higher every morning.

Tour April’s Sky: Critters on the March

The stars of northern winter linger in the west — as celestial bears, a lion, and a snake climb in the east. Meanwhile, Jupiter and Venus sparkle overhead.



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