SKYWATCH: PHOTOS OF THE VENUS-JUPITER CONJUNCTION, ROSETTA SPOTS SINKHOLES ON COMET, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Rosetta Spots Sinkholes on Comet

The spacecraft orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has found 18 holes in the nucleus’s surface.

Planet with a Comet Tail

Astronomers have confirmed that the planet Gliese 436b seems to be trailing a gigantic, comet-like cloud of hydrogen.

Witnessing Light Echoes from a Neutron Star

X-ray echoes from the binary star system Circinus X-1 are helping astronomers measure its distance from Earth.

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

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

Out to watch fireworks? As dusk settles in, point out to people Venus and Jupiter still forming a striking pair low in the west (1.9° apart), fainter Regulus to their upper left, and the two brightest stars of summer: Arcturus very high toward the southwest, and Vega nearly as high in the east.

Fireflies, Green Stars, and Chromatic Duos

July nights bring the green flicker of fireflies and a question — are there any green stars we can see in our telescopes? The answer may surprise you.

Tour July’s Sky: Saturn and the Scorpion

Stargazing in July is warm and pleasant. After sunset Venus and Jupiter are together in the west and Saturn is low in the south amid the stars of Scorpius.

COMMUNITY

The Kavli Foundation Q&A: Dwarf Galaxies and the Quest for Dark Matter

A batch of newly discovered satellite dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way should help scientists better grasp the evolution of the universe while also homing in on dark matter’s identity.

Photos of the Venus-Jupiter Conjunction

For the last few weeks, countless numbers of the world’s 7 billion people watched the western evening sky as the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter, edged closer and closer to one another. Last night, June 30th, they reached their least separation: 0.3° apart (at the time of twilight for the Americas).

 

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