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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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How to Find Orion's Belt in the Night Sky

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.

Leonid Meteor Shower: What You Need to Know

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.

7 Eye-catching Facts About the Bright Star Vega

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.

The Orionid Meteor Shower Is Back — Here's What You Need to Know

Every autumn, Earth passes through a stream of debris left by Halley's comet, resulting in nighttime meteor showers in mid-October. Best time this year is Oct. 21-22.

How Long Does the Once-dimming Star Betelgeuse Have Left?

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.

The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Back — Here's What You Need to Know

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

How to See NEOWISE, the First Visible Comet in Decades

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.

Astronomers Tell You How and Where to Best View Meteor Showers

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

Hubble Hubble: Telescope Provides Stunning New Images of Two Planetary Nebulas

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

How Old Is Earth and How Did Scientists Figure It Out?

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

Uranus: The Planet on a Very Tilted Axis

Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun and sits on an axial plane tilted at a jaw-dropping 97.7-degree angle. And yes, Uranus does actually stink.

New Kaleidoscopic Map Details the Geology of the Moon 

The moon has seen a lot in its 4.5 million years of life, and a detailed new geologic map serves as testament.

The Lyrid Meteor Shower Is Back — Here's What You Need to Know

Every April, the Lyrid meteor shower fills the sky with shooting stars. Here's how to see them.

Saturn: Giant Rings and a Moon Full of Space Lakes

Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest planet in the solar system. It has an amazing ring system and 82 moons! And did we mention that it's an oblong world that appears squished looking?

New Solar Orbiter Will Get the First Glimpse of the Sun's Poles

NASA and the European Space Agency's new Solar Orbiter will travel as close as 26 million miles to the sun to get the first glimpses of its north and south poles.

Neptune: An Ice Giant With Supersonic Winds

Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun, and one of the coldest. It also has supersonic winds that are the fastest in the solar system.

Why Is the North Star So Stellarly Important?

Polaris, also known as the North Star, is almost exactly over the celestial North Pole, making it extremely useful for navigation (and for making wishes on, as well).

Venus: Earth's Blazing-hot and Bizarre Twin

The atmospheric pressure is crushingly extreme on Venus, and lead would melt into a puddle on its surface. But as hellish as this place sounds, it actually has a lot in common with Earth.

Jupiter: Anatomy of a Gas Giant

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. Big as it is though, next to the sun, Jupiter looks puny.

Is Planet Nine Actually a Primordial Black Hole?

As the search for Planet Nine wears on, and astronomers have yet to get so much as a glimpse of it, researchers are pondering what else the object might be.

Confirmed: Comet Borisov Is Another Interstellar Visitor

The galaxy has sent another tumbling chunk of frozen interstellar material our way.

It's Only a Rolling Rock on Mars (But I Like It)

NASA just named a rolling rock on Mars after — who else — the Rolling Stones.

Ploonets: When Moons Become Planets

Did you know that a moon can leave its orbit around a large planet and go out on its own?

Rare Asteroid Discovered With Fastest Orbit Around the Sun

Researchers at the Zwicky Transient Facility have found an asteroid in Earth's orbit. And this one has the shortest year yet.

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