SKYWATCH: MARS APPROACHES NEPTUNE ON NEW YEAR’S EVE, CATCH THE QUAD METEORS, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Vera Rubin, “Mother of Dark Matter,” Dies

Sky & Telescope

The holidays brought sad news to astronomers across the world after they learned that Vera Rubin, whose pioneering work led to the confirmation of dark matter, passed away.

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The Year 2016 Will Be One Second Longer

Sky & Telescope

Ring in the New Year a little late, thanks to the decision of an international agency to add a leap second to December 31st.

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Black Hole Facts

Sky & Telescope

Learn black hole facts, such as what we mean by “singularity” and “ergosphere,” and why we think black holes are real.

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OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, December 30 – January 7

Sky & Telescope

Can you spot the fingernail-thin crescent Moon in twilight tonight? And as twilight fades on New Year’s Eve, catch the crescent Moon, Venus, and Mars forming a diagonal, gently curving line in the southwest.

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Mars Meets Neptune on New Year’s Eve
Sky & Telescope
Doing anything on New Year’s Eve? Before you start toasting, don’t miss an exceptionally close conjunction of Mars and Neptune.

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Catch the Quadrantid Meteors (If You Can)

Sky & Telescope

The Quadrantids, which peak on the morning of January 3rd, is one of the year’s best meteor showers. But this shower isn’t spread out over several days — most of the action takes place over just a few hours.

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What to See with Your New Telescope

Sky & Telescope

Maybe this gift-giving season you got a shiny telescope to call your own. Follow these tips to get the most out of your first observing session with your new toy.

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Tour January’s Sky: Spot Two Star Clusters

Sky & Telescope

Download our monthly astronomy podcast to spot Venus and Mars in the west – and two star clusters high up – after sunset.

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COMMUNITY

Get Funds for 2017 Eclipse Outreach Projects

Sky & Telescope

Thanks to some timely NSF support, the American Astronomical Society is offering dozens of small grants to U.S. groups that offer outreach programs tied to the 2017 solar eclipse.

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