SKYWATCH: VENUS-JUPITER CONJUNCTION THIS WEEKEND, SPOT A TOP-SECRET SATELLITE, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Closest Star-Shredding Black Hole

The last hurrah of a star wrenched apart by a supermassive black hole tells astronomers what the stellar crumbs are doing.

The Curious Case of KIC 8462852

The Kepler spacecraft recorded a bunch of irregular dimmings around one of its target stars, designated KIC 8462852. No natural phenomenon explains the dips well.

Searching for Exoplanets Around HL Tau

When astronomers went searching for the planets that must exist around HL Tau, they came up empty — and future searches may not fare much better.

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

Planets dance before dawn, and the Big Dipper lies in the low north-northwest in the evening – the waxing gibbous Moon joins the evening sky over the weekend.

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction This Weekend!

Watch three planets pirouette at dawn through patterns that change each morning, and a fourth planet hides down below.

Close-in Asteroid Offers Halloween Treat

The recently discovered asteroid 2015 TB145 won’t come especially close to Earth on October 31st, but it’s big enough to be seen in medium-size backyard telescopes.

Discover a Dozen Clusters in the “W”

Open your bag wide as we go trick-or-treating in the “W” of Cassiopeia, home to more than 100 star clusters.

How to Spot the USAF’s ‘Mini-Shuttle’

Now is the time to track the secret space plane X-37B on its OTV-4 mission.

Tour October’s Sky: Predawn Planet Pileup

Early risers will be treated to wonderful groupings of bright planets, and the evening sky offers excellent stargazing as well. Take a guided tour with our astronomy podcast.

COMMUNITY

For the second time during his tenure, President Obama invited amateur astronomers to join him on the South Lawn for an evening of stargazing.

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