astronomy

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 its supporting state-of-the-art equipment and robotic software, was displaying images of a galaxy 2.3 million light-years…

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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.”—Buzz Aldrin In a remote stretch of Utah desert, five scientific researchers and one journalist, myself, came together this month…

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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 morning. Beginning at 2:07 a.m. EDT, the 45-mile-wide (72-kilometer-wide) asteroid named 163 Erigone will slip…

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5 Sky Events of the Week: Stellar Peak-a-Boo and Leo Paws at the Moon

With a change of seasons only days away, mid-March skies offer celestial sights that even the novice stargazer will find easy to enjoy. Lunar rectangle. After nightfall on Monday, March 10, look for the waxing gibbous moon to form a corner of a rectangle with Jupiter and the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, high in the southern…

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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 since it will be missing our planet by 218,000 miles (350,837 kilometers)….

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4 Sky Events This Week: Venus at Dawn and Gemini’s Double Jewel Box

A crescent moon snuggles up to the innermost planets this week, while sky-watchers will also see mythical twins reveal two stellar wonders. Zodiacal lights. With the moon out of the early evening sky this week, ideal sky conditions prevail for hunting down the elusive zodiacal lights. This ethereal glow across the sky is caused by sunlight…

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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, the exploding star SN 2014J will be visible in darker skies in the early evening, thanks to the…

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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 ago a supernova—a giant exploding star—was discovered by British university students within the galaxy, which is…

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About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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