Astronomy

Astronomy is a broad discipline covering all facets of astrophysics. In this section you can learn about the origins of the universe, black holes and other astronomical phenomena.

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Early dark energy, a form of dark energy that may have existed a few hundred thousand years after the big bang, could help clarify the universe's rate of expansion. But its existence hasn't been proven.

By Patrick J. Kiger

The Mars solar conjunction occurs every two years and forces NASA to stop communicating with assets on the Red Planet. So what's the deal?

By Sharise Cunningham

Scientists have observed flashes of X-rays coming from behind a supermassive black hole, consistent with Albert Einstein's prediction that extremely large objects can bend light.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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In recent years, Saturn has overtaken Jupiter as the planet with the most moons in our solar system. How many does it have and could it have even more?

By Valerie Stimac

You know Saturn and Venus and Mars and ... some others. Can you put the eight planets of the solar system in the correct order? There are several ways to do this.

By Valerie Stimac

Scientists at Yale are using "quantum squeezing" to reduce "noise" in their search for dark matter.

By Benjamin Brubaker

Surely you've watched tons of sunsets in your lifetime. But have you ever seen the sunset and the moonrise simultaneously? Is that even possible?

By Sharise Cunningham

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Arcturus is 113 times brighter than our sun, even though it's only a little bigger. What else should we know about this red giant?

By Valerie Stimac

Everyone's heard of the blue moon and the harvest moon, but every other full moon of the year has a name, too. What are their names and when do theses moons occur?

By Nathan Chandler

Stars are giant nuclear fusion reactors and we wouldn't exist without them. Find out how much you know about these twinkling lights with our quiz.

By David Warmflash, M.D.

Whether it's a solar eclipse, a meteor shower or the launch of the long-awaited James Webb Space Telescope, 2021 has a lot to offer.

By Valerie Stimac

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All of the planets in the solar system are named for Greek gods, except Earth. So where did the name come from?

By Mark Mancini

The Quadrantids are a short but powerful meteor shower that shows up in early January. How can you glimpse it?

By Valerie Stimac

A magnetar is a neutron star with a super-strong magnetic field. Astronomers consider them among the scariest objects in the universe, but why?

By Valerie Stimac

You might call it a Christmas miracle. Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely they may look like a double planet. The last time we saw this was in 1226.

By Valerie Stimac

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Late November is the perfect time to look for Orion's Belt. If you're new to stargazing, we'll show you how to find it.

By Valerie Stimac

The annual Leonid meteor shower is back, and peaks in the early-morning hours of November 17. It's made up of tiny bits of debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle. Here's how to see it.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Even if you've never looked through a telescope, you've probably seen Vega, one of the brightest stars in our galaxy. In fact, thousands of years ago, Vega was our North Pole star, and will be again in the future.

By Valerie Stimac

Every autumn, Earth passes through a stream of debris left by Halley's comet, resulting in nighttime meteor showers in mid-October. The best time this year is Oct. 20-21.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Star-gazers gasped when they saw how much Betelgeuse dimmed in 2019 and the reason wasn't clear. Even though it's back up to full strength, how long will it be before it explodes? We haven't seen a supernova in over 400 years.

By Nathan Chandler

It's a celestial gift in the middle of August. Just look up for a spectacular sight.

By Christopher Hassiotis

Comet NEOWISE comes by only once every 6,800 years. But it will be visible to anyone with binoculars or even to the naked eye. Here's how to spot this rare event.

By Nathan Chandler

Watching meteor showers can be a spectacular sight. We talked to some astronomy experts on how to improve your meteor-viewing experience.

By Nathan Chandler

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Astronomers used Hubble's full range of imaging to dissect wild 'fireworks' happening in two nearby young planetary nebulas.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

In 1953, CalTech geochemist Clair Patterson came up with an estimate for Earth's age that still holds today.

By Patrick J. Kiger