SKYWATCH: IAU NAMES STARS AND PLANETS, CHINA LAUNCHES DARK-MATTER PROBE, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

China Launches Dark-Matter Probe

The recently launched Dark Matter Particle Explorer takes the hunt to space.

Newborn Star Puts on Star Wars Show

Infrared observations by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal jets from a forming star.

Hubble Peers Inside Exoplanets’ Atmospheres

Astronomers studying hot Jupiter exoplanets revealed when and how clouds form on these alien worlds.

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, December 18 – 27

Keep up with Comet Catalina as it sails northward toward the Big Dipper, watch a webcast of the Moon covering the bright star Aldebaran, and look for elusive Mercury low in the west after sunset.

Run Away With These Runaway Stars

Three stars that once belonged to Orion flew the coop millions of years ago, but you can catch up with them with binoculars on the next clear night.

Tour December’s Sky: Planets and Meteors

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

New Star and Exoplanet Names OK’d by IAU

Following a wildly popular contest, the International Astronomical Union has named 14 stars and 31 planets that orbit them.

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