SKYWATCH: HOW TO FIND COMET CATALINA ON DECEMBER 7, MOON TO OCCULT VENUS IN DAYTIME, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Our Magnetic Black Hole

Astronomers have detected magnetic fields writhing around the Milky Way’s central black hole.

LISA Pathfinder Heads to Space

 

 

An exciting new mission takes the hunt for gravitational waves into space.

Will Phobos Create a Ring Around Mars?

 

Dynamicists predict that the larger of Mars’s two moons will shatter to create a ring, slam into the planet – or both – in 20 to 40 million years.

Mystery Signal from a Black Hole-Powered Jet

Astronomers have spotted what appears to be a regular signal coming from the blazar known as PG 1553+113.

Star-Counting in the Galactic Bulge

Astronomers have taken a careful census of the smallest stars in our galaxy’s center.

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, December 4 – 12

Winter skies present a nice opportunity for a naked-eye glimpse of Andromeda Galaxy and the Perseus Double Cluster. Plus, the Moon will occult Venus this week during daytime hours and Comet Catalina, while fainter than predicted, is still a binocular sight in the predawn hours.

Get a Predawn Peek at Comet Catalina

Our current visitor from the Oort Cloud, rising into northern skies at last, can be glimpsed with binoculars low in the east before dawn. Spotting it with the help of the crescent Moon will be especially easy on December 7th.

Moon to Occult Venus on December 7th

After taking us to Comet Catalina’s doorstep, the Moon covers Venus in a spectacular daytime occultation visible from most of North and Central America on Monday.

Sky Tour Podcast: Planets and Meteors in December’s Sky

This month offers great variety in the night sky: planets (and a comet!) before dawn, a strong meteor shower, and a parade of bright stars after sunset.

COMMUNITY

The Jumbo-Size Pocket Sky Atlas

No, it’s not really pocket-size, but it’s easier than ever to use. Find out what’s new in the Jumbo edition of our popular Pocket Sky Atlas.

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