flaming star nebula
diagram showing the local arm and other major spiral arms of the milky way galaxy
a spacecraft approaches mars
dust in flame nebula
hubble space telescope portraits of jupiter, saturn, uranus, neptune

StarDate Radio: December 5 — Earliest Sunsets

The Sun isn’t a very good clock. The time it takes to move from one “noon” to the next can...More »

StarDate Radio: December 4 — Flaming Nebula

A star that was kicked out of its birthplace is really lighting things up. The supergiant star illuminates a cloud...More »

Stargazing: December 4

Auriga the charioteer is in the northeast at nightfall, marked by the bright star Capella. A cloud of gas and...More »

Stargazing: December 3

Venus is at its brightest for its current “evening star” appearance the next couple of nights. It is more than...More »

StarDate Radio: December 3 — White Dwarfs

A dead star in Aquila, the eagle, is a double record holder. It’s the heaviest star of its type yet...More »

Stargazing: December 2

Aquila, the eagle, is low in the west-southwest as darkness falls. Its brightest star, Altair, marks the left point of...More »

StarDate Radio: December 2 — Smith’s Cloud

In 30 million years or so, the Milky Way Galaxy may stage a spectacular fireworks display. It could give birth...More »

Stargazing: December 1

The bright star Deneb is high in the west-northwest at nightfall. It represents the tail of Cygnus, the swan. Under...More »

StarDate Radio: December 1 — Longer Arm

The bright star Deneb stands high in the west-northwest at nightfall. It represents both the tail of Cygnus, the swan,...More »

Stargazing: November 30

Harry Potter fans may boo when they hear its name, but Bellatrix is one of the hottest, brightest stars in...More »

StarDate Radio: November 30 — Puffy Disk

Nine billion years ago, another galaxy rammed into the Milky Way. It was only a tiny fraction the mass of...More »

StarDate Radio: November 29 — Age of the Milky Way

Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is ancient. It was born perhaps 13.6 billion years ago — just a couple...More »

Stargazing: November 29

The glowing outline of the Milky Way stands high in the sky this evening. After night falls, it arcs from...More »

Current Magazine

November-December 2021 cover

In the November/December issue, we take you inside efforts to send robotic probes back to the Moon, and explain why astronomers are looking for odd black holes that might be left over from the birth of the universe. 

Updated 2021 Sky Almanac

Sky Almanac cover

We've updated the digital version of the Almanac, adding new events in space exploration, revising dates for others, and making additional changes to keep it fresh and up to date.

This year offers up some beautiful skywatching treats, including two good lunar eclipses and several planetary conjunctions. You can find all the details on these and many others in our 2021 Sky Almanac. We also tell you about some amazing dead or dying stars—some of them spectacular, all of them fascinating.

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