A hot super-Earth
McDonald Observatory's Otto Struve Telescope
A Cassini radar image of Mare Kraken, the largest sea on Titan
Astronaut Michael Collins training for Apollo 11
Juno view of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, Oval BA

Update - A few tips for keeping busy and entertained while staying safe

Engaging with the Universe from Home

Even with the number of people vaccinated on the rise and restrictions being eased, it's still best to stay close to home for a while and follow safe practices. More »

StarDate Radio: May 10 — ‘Gassy’ Sun

Hydrogen and helium are best known as the gases that make things float — from zeppelins to birthday balloons. Both...More »

Stargazing: May 9

The planet Mercury is in the early evening sky now. It looks like a bright star quite low in the...More »

StarDate Radio: May 9 — Evening Mercury

Every mission to the planets creates as many new questions as it answers.

An example is Messenger, the only spacecraft...More »

Stargazing: May 8


Through a telescope, the galaxy known as M82, which is near the Big Dipper, looks like a lumpy caterpillar. But...More »

StarDate Radio: May 8 — Making Super-Earths

There’s an old bit of advice about how to sculpt an elephant: Start with a piece of marble, then chip...More »

Stargazing: May 7

Cygnus, the swan, climbs into view by midnight and is high in the sky at first light. Kepler-64, near the...More »

StarDate Radio: May 7 — Tatooine-Plus

You might think of the planet Kepler-64b as Tatooine-plus. Like the home of Luke Skywalker, the planet orbits both members...More »

Stargazing: May 6

Pisces is in the east at first light. Tomorrow, it’s above and to the left of the crescent Moon. The...More »

StarDate Radio: May 6 — Lava Planet

A trip to a super-Earth orbiting a star in Pisces would be super-quick. Under daytime temperatures of more than 5500...More »

Stargazing: May 5

Orion is quite low in the west as night begins to fall. Its three-star belt lines up parallel to the...More »

StarDate Radio: May 5 — Black-Hole Planets

Rocky planets like Earth are tough. They can survive some pretty harsh conditions. Some have even formed from the debris...More »

StarDate Radio: May 4 — Morning Treats

The early morning sky offers up a couple of beautiful sights tomorrow. One is a meteor shower, although you need...More »

Stargazing: May 4

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower should be at its best over the next couple of nights. It fires up as...More »

Current Magazine

cover of May-June 2021 issue

After more than a year of coronavirus restrictions, you might be ready to head for the beach, the mountains, or some other beautiful destination this summer, or perhaps you just want to stay at home under the air conditioning. Either way, we have some books to help you pass the time more pleasantly in our summer reading issue. These tomes offer more confirmation for Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, outline the life of a pioneering woman astronomer, recount NASA’s attempt to build nuclear rockets, and more.

2021 Sky Almanac

Sky Almanac cover

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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