SKYWATCH: EARTH’S CLOSEST COUSIN YET, “BREAKTHROUGH” FOR SETI, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Kepler Discovers Earth’s Closest Cousin Yet

The Kepler team announced today the discovery of Kepler-452b, an Earth-size planet in the “goldilocks” zone around a Sun-like star. But is it Earthlike?

(Unofficially) Naming Pluto

Amidst all the excitement of seeing Pluto’s unique features for the first time, NASA researchers have been using unofficial names to talk science until official terms come down the pipeline.

“Breakthrough Listen”: Giant Leap for SETI

A $100 million donation will radically speed up the search for artificial signals from the nearest million stars — and from trillions of much farther stars in the 100 nearest galaxies.

High Definition Space Telescope — Hubble’s Successor?

A proposal released earlier this month calls for a giant orbiting space telescope that could revolutionize astronomy — that is, if we can afford it.

Buckyballs Solve Interstellar Mystery

Soccer-ball-shaped molecules lurking in the dusty corners of the Milky Way help resolve a long-standing conundrum.

The Frozen Plain of Pluto

New images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reveal an ice-covered plain on Pluto that looks remarkably young and fresh.

Astronomers Spot Unusual Five-Star System

Two binary systems and a fifth stellar wheel make for a rare, and so far unique, set of stars.

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, July 24 – Aug. 1

The Cat’s Eyes point west (right) by nearly a fist-width toward Mu Scorpii, a much tighter pair known as the Little Cat’s Eyes. Can you resolve Mu without using binoculars?

Why We Can See In The Dark

In search of a pitch black night? Don’t expect to find it on Earth. Thanks to starlight, zodiacal light, and especially airglow, true darkness doesn’t exist.

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

Own the Sky & Telescope Collection

The digital archive of Sky & Telescope magazine is an essential resource for astronomers at any level. And this weekend only, get $25 off.

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