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4 Sky Events This Week: Saturn Stands While Meteors Fly

Saturn, the true “Lord of the Rings,” dominates the evening sky this week, while the summer’s first meteor shower gets under way. Saturn at full stop. On Monday, July 21, the ringed world will appear at a standstill in the sky, relative to the background stars in the zodiacal constellation Libra, the Scales. Astronomers call this…

4 Sky Events This Week: Ice Giants and Deep Sky Jewels

The moon dances with the outer planets this week for sky-gazers.

Name That Planet! Alien Worlds Looking for Winning Names

Tired of this planet? How about voting on a name for a newly-discovered one.

Soccer Mania Stretches From Brazil to Mercury?

Worldwide celebration of the “beautiful game” may have spilled across the solar system to Mercury, according to NASA. The space agency’s MESSENGER spacecraft has spotted what appears to be a giant soccer ball on the scorched surface of the planet closest to the sun. While it may have the familiar pattern of a football, it…

Waves Discovered on Saturn’s Moon Titan?

Surf’s up on one of Saturn’s moons, report astronomers.

5 Sky Events This Week: Goddess of Love and Distant Giants

The goddess of love this week brightens the dawn hours for skywatchers.

Super Earths Found Circling Ancient Star

A habitable-zone planet circles a nearby star zipping past our solar system.

5 Sky Events This Week: Rare Celestial Shadow Dance and Leo Paws at the Moon

A brightening comet, Jupiter’s moons and a rendezvous with Mars fill out another exciting week in skywatching.

4 Sky Events This Week: Comet Challenge, Stellar Trio, and Planet Pairings

The parent of the now famous Camelopardalid meteor shower offers sky-watchers a challenge this week. They can also focus in on the Guardian of the Great Bear and watch four classic naked-eye planets swing into view. Comet Challenge.  Now that the much hyped but disappointing Camelopardalid meteor shower has come and gone, its parent comet,…

Far-Flung Exoplanet Puzzles Astronomers

Talk about a cosmic outsider! A newfound exoplanet sets the record for orbital distance from a host star. Dubbed GU Psc b, the giant planet is on an orbit more than 2,000 times farther away from its star than the one the Earth circles around the sun. You wouldn’t see many birthdays on this exotic world, since…

Best Photo Yet of an Exoplanet

While it may look like only a tiny smudge to the untrained eye, a freshly released image represents the best direct photograph ever snapped of a planet beyond our solar system. Located some 63.5 light-years from Earth, Beta Pictoris b appears to be a Jupiter-like gas giant planet. It orbits a star similar to our…

5 Sky Events This Week: Mercury Rises while Green Giant Poses

May’s moon pays a visit, pointing to bright evening celestial landmarks this week while our planetary neighbors put on a parade for sky-watchers. Moon joins Spica. As the sun sets on Monday, May 12, you’ll find a waxing gibbous moon parked to the lower left of the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, the Maiden. The steely…

Track Down the Sun’s Newfound Sister

Alone no more, a long-lost sibling to the sun appears to have been found 110 light-years from us. Astronomers think it will allow them to trace our stellar ancestry. Dubbed HD 162826, the familiar-looking yellow star is thought to have been born in the same ancient gas cloud  as the sun. The same gas cloud…

5 Sky Events This Week: Jovian Shadows, Lunar X, and Lord of the Rings

Sky-watchers keeping an eye on the moon may spot a special lunar landmark this week, while Saturn, the magnificent ringed planet, appears at its best for 2014. Jovian moon shadows. On Monday, May 5, look for Jupiter, the giant planet, to hang low in the western horizon at night. High magnification through small backyard telescopes…

April 27, 2014: Tragedy on Everest, Rowing Across the Pacific, Wrestling Mongolians and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week his guests reflect on the dangers of climbing Mount Everest after the recent tragedy, row a boat across the oceans and bike across continents to circumnavigate the globe, discover what it is like to be a kid in Mongolia, learn what happened This Weekend In History, detect land mines in Cambodia, travel in style with your dog companion, discover new ways which drug trafficking is cutting down the rainforest, gave through space and time with the world’s most powerful satellite array, and understand why Sherpas climb deadly peaks on Wild Chronicles.