How To Find Hydra, The Largest Constellation In The Sky

Hydra the Water Snake is not only the largest of the 88 constellations, it’s also the longest and one of the most ancient. This slender winding pattern of stars is named after the nine-headed serpent Hercules fought as part of his twelve labors. For every head he severed from the serpent, two more grew in its…
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Wanted: Names For Pluto’s Cracks, Cliffs And Craters

Here’s your chance to suggest and vote on names for all the newly-discovered craters, cliffs, cracks and gosh-knows-what-else New Horizon’s camera will see when the spacecraft flies past the dwarf planet on July 14. In partnership with the NASA mission and the SETI Institute, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is endorsing a campaign that will allow the public…
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Colliding Stars Behind 345-year-old Stellar Mystery

Nova sub capite Cygni or “new star below the head of the Swan”.  That’s how lunar cartographer Hevelius described what he saw one evening in 1670 in the little constellation of Vulpeculae the Fox not far from the star Deneb in the Northern Cross. It must have taken early astronomers aback, for the new star reached magnitude +2.6,…
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Largest Recorded Explosion On Moon Excavates 60-ft. Crater

Two years ago March 17 an object the size of a small boulder hit the surface of the moon in Mare Imbrium and exploded in a flash of light nearly 10 times as bright as anything ever recorded before. Mare Imbrium is a lunar “sea” that forms the left eye in the Man in the Moon face…
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Nova In Sagittarius Brightens / Aurora Keeps On Truckin’

The nova in Sagittarius discovered last week is on its way UP! Since then, it’s brightened to around magnitude 4.5, making it relatively easy to see with the naked eye if you know just where to look. It’s also been christened Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2, a temporary designation. It surprised me this morning at +4.4…
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