astronomy

NASA Unveils Stunning New Milky Way Portrait

Talk about an out-of-this-world map! NASA has unveiled a stunning new clickable panoramic portrait of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The zoomable, 360-degree view was constructed from more than two million infrared snapshots taken over the past ten years ...

Hands-on STEM Learning: Northern Skies Observatory

A seventh grader sitting at the computer control desk at an observatory in a small Vermont town comments to her fellow student: “I can’t believe I am in charge of this telescope!” The 17-inch PlaneWave reflecting telescope, complete with ...

First Person: What I’m Learning on a Simulated Mars Mission

By Jim Urquhart for National Geographic “Mars has been flown by, orbited, smacked into, radar examined, and rocketed onto, as well as bounced upon, rolled over, shoveled, drilled into, baked, and even blasted. Still to come: Mars being stepped on.”—...

Watch Asteroid Eclipse Star Tonight

Late tonight, millions living around New York City may witness the best stellar disappearing act ever seen in North America. Lucky sky-watchers with clear skies across parts of the Northeast will observe a bright star momentarily wink out early Thursday ...

Biggest Yellow “Hypergiant” Star Spotted

A jumbo star 1,300 times wider than the sun has surprised astronomers, who report it is the biggest yellow “hypergiant” star ever spotted. Dubbed HR 5171, the star is also surprising because a companion star was discovered orbiting it. “The two stars ...

Asteroid Sails Between Earth and the Moon Tonight

A newly discovered asteroid will hurtle through the Earth-moon system on Wednesday night. Everyone around the world can watch the event unfold through large telescopes that will broadcast live online. Asteroid 2014 DX110, discovered only on February 28, 2014, thankfully poses no danger ...

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 ...

Brightest Lunar Impact Ever Recorded

This artwork depicts the blast formed from an impacting meteor on the lunar surface. Credit: NASA Anyone looking up at the right moment on September 11, 2013, may have caught sight of a brief flash of light on the moon. The flash ...

5 Sky Events This Week: Red Planet, Lord of the Rings, and Space Mountain

The bright moon moves into late-night skies this week, offering backyard observers some early-evening opportunities to hunt down celestial sights ranging from a fading supernova to a giant asteroid. Last-chance supernova. For Monday, February 17, and the rest of the week, ...

Gold-Winning Olympians to Get Bonus Meteorite Medals

Winning an Olympic medal this weekend will make for a truly out-of-this-world experience. That’s because ten lucky athletes who earn gold at the Sochi Olympics on February 15 will also receive a bonus medal decorated with a piece of the ...

Newfound Star May Be Oldest in the Universe

The ultimate age barrier has been broken. The oldest living star in the entire universe may have been discovered—one formed only one or two hundred million years after the Big Bang itself. The ancient star, born some 13.6 billion years ...

Intense Starburst Spotted in Nearby Galaxy

Things are rocking right now in our own galactic neighborhood. Backyard telescope users already knew about the Cigar Galaxy, or M82, located in the Great Bear constellation, Ursa Major. Now it has two new cosmic secrets to explore. Two weeks ...