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Your Guide to the Universe

StarDate magazine keeps you in touch with the universe with detailed skywatching information, in-depth features, the latest astronomy news, and more. Six issues per year, including the Sky Almanac issue in January! Subscribe today!

Current Issue: September/October 2021

In this issue, we profile the James Webb Space Telescope — the most highly anticipated space science mission in decades — discuss some of its science priorities and tell you how much astronomers are counting on it. We also tell you how our changing climate could affect astronomical observations.

Hopes, Dreams, and Beryllium Hexagons

Hopes, Dreams, and Beryllium Hexagons
The largest space telescope in history will study everything from methane on Mars to the origins of the first stars and galaxies.

Blurring the View

Blurring the View
Climate change could make it harder for astronomers to see the universe clearly.


Merlin explains why the planets look so bright and steady, ponders the search for life in the universe, and discusses Earth’s barely fluctuating weight.

Pose your own questions for future issues.

Sky Highlights

The stars of autumn begin to push those of summer out of the way as the nights grow longer and cooler. Pegasus is in view in the east as night falls, with several related constellations following the flying horse into the sky over the next few hours. Venus and Jupiter, the brightest objects in the night sky other than the Moon, bookend the early evening sky, while Mercury stages its best morning appearance for the year in October.


Stellar nurseries form bright orange blobs in NGC 4535, one of the targets of a recent study. (ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/PHANGS/S. DAGNELLO)Stellar nurseries form bright orange blobs in NGC 4535, one of the targets of a recent study. (ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/PHANGS/S. DAGNELLO) * A spacecraft designed to give a small asteroid a whack is scheduled for launch in October
* Astronomers study two black hole-neutron star mergers
* Probing stellar nurseries
* Possible signs of life from a moon of Saturn
* A possible new way for massive stars to die


The world’s largest astronomy museum; helping astronomers identify galaxies; forever sunny.

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In the Next Issue

NASA and other space agencies are getting ready to deploy a wave of robotic probes to the Moon, and we’ll tell you all about them. We’ll also talk about a rarely discussed class of black holes that could be left over from the birth of the universe.

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cover of September-October issue