NASA Nixes Launch of InSight in March 2016

A mechanical problem in the spacecraft’s seismometer can’t be fixed before the planned launch date, so NASA managers have postponed the mission until 2018.


This Week’s Sky at a Glance, January 1 – 9

Hunting season is in full swing: look for Orion in the southeastern skies in the evenings. Earth reaches perihelion (its closest approach to the Sun) on January 2nd, and keep an eye out for the Quadrantid meteors on January 3rd.

Quadrantid Meteors Start 2016 with a Bang

The least-observed major meteor shower should be in plain sight when it peaks early on January 4th.

Meteor Showers in 2016

Sky & Telescope predicts that the two best meteor showers in 2016 will be the Quadrantids in early January and the Perseids in mid-August. Find out when to watch.

Advanced Meteor Observing

Meteor watching is easy — sit back in the early-morning hours and wait for the occasional shooting star. But it’s a lot more fun to record what you see in a scientific manner so you can join in worldwide observing campaigns!

Astronomy Podcast for January 2016

Download our monthly stargazing podcast to learn about a close pairing of Venus and Saturn before dawn, a strong meteor shower, and a parade of bright stars after sunset.


High School Student Discovers New Exoplanet

Dominick Rowan, a senior in the Science Research program at Byram Hills High School in New York, helped discover a Jupiter-mass exoplanet in a 6.5-year orbit around its star and calculate the frequency of Jupiter analogs in other systems. Find out how a high school student came to author a professional-level paper.


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