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Seven Sisters Star Cluster Controversy Solved

Good news for fans of that stargazer’s favorite, the Pleiades. Such star clusters are closer than astronomers supposed, most particularly when it comes to the iconic one known to many sky-watchers as the Seven Sisters.   Not only does a new study, published in Science magazine by a team led by Carl Melis of the University…

4 Sky Events This Week: A Cosmic Kite and the King of Planets

  As springtime winds begin to blow, a giant celestial kite sets sail, riding high in the night sky. For sky-watchers, another delightful week is ahead for observing the heavens, with the moon waxing after an early absence and taking a starring role in the celestial encounters ahead. Springtime kite. With the moon missing for most of…

4 Sky Events This Week: Seven Sisters and a Stellar Sandwich

A final glimpse of the seventh planet from the sun comes this week, and the moon takes sky-watchers on a celestial tour of some stunning star clusters. Last-chance green giant. After dusk on Monday, March 3, the razor-thin crescent moon acts as convenient guidepost to the fast-fading planet Uranus, which will hang just below the moon.…

Watch Asteroid Take the Bull by the Horns

A glimpse of a large asteroid comes to delight sky-watchers this month, silently sailing its way through a cosmic bull’s horns and past a famous supernova remnant. In the next few weeks, the asteroid Herculina, the 532nd asteroid to be discovered, will glow in the sky at a magnitude of brightness of about 10. That should…

5 Sky Events This Week: Winged Equine, Jovian Shadows, and Seven Sisters

The game’s afoot! A cosmic menagerie offers sky-watchers an exciting chase this week, with everything from a mythical steed to a red bull’s eye. Moon and Pegasus. After nightfall on Monday, February 3, folks in the Northern Hemisphere can look for the Great Square of Pegasus. Appearing tipped on one corner, the distinct four-sided pattern represents…

5 Sky Events This Week: Ice Giant, Lunar Wonder, Ex-Comet Shower

Sky-watchers get a chance to see a giant lunar wall, hunt down a distant world, and the moon makes for a convenient guidepost in hunting down a distant planet. Green Giant. Late night on Tuesday, January 7, the seventh planet from the Sun, Uranus, will pass near the moon. The green giant will appear about 9 degrees…

5 Sky Events This Week: Moon Swims With Fishes, Meteors Fly, and Jupiter Rises

Sky-watchers this week can follow Earth’s lone natural satellite as it glides across the sky and poses with some of the most well known celestial treasures. Moon and Pisces.  After nightfall on Monday, December 9,  look for the first quarter moon to hang just below the “Circlet,” the most easily recognizable part of the constellation…

5 Sky Events This Week: Cosmic Bull’s-Eye and Eskimo Nebula

While Venus shines bright after sunset in the southwest, and Jupiter rises high late nights in the south, the moon dances with planets and stars this week. Orionid stragglers: If clouds kept you from viewing the peak of the Orionids in the early morning of Monday, October 21, then you can try your luck again…

6 Sky Events This Week: Moon Dances, Seven Sisters, Bull’s Eye

  As one month gives way to another, planets, stars and meteors light up the night sky this week. Moon and the Seven Sisters. Near local midnight on Monday, August 26, then again the following night, watch the low eastern horizon for a rising moon parked near the famous Pleiades star cluster in the constellation…

New Video: Crab Nebula Comes Alive

An iconic colorful cloud of gas and dust – the remains of an ancient violent cosmic event-  is finally revealing its dynamic nature thanks to a newly released video more than a decade in the making. A favorite target for backyard telescope users for generations, the Crab Nebula, sitting some 6,500 light years from Earth,…

5 Sky Events This Week: Mercury Rising, Moon Meets the Lion’s Heart

This week skywatchers get a chance to watch the moon strike a pose with bright stars while the most elusive of naked-eye planets puts on its best sky show of the year. Moon poses with Venus. About 30 minutes after sunset on Monday, June 10, skywatchers around the world can look towards the very low…