Giant Star Becomes A Black Hole Right Before Our Eyes!

Who would ever have thought we’d see a massive star become a black hole just like that? And yet that’s the best explanation for the sudden disappearance of what was once a brilliant star 22 million light years away in the galaxy NGC 6946. It took the combined power of three serious telescopes — the Large…
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Hubble’s Jupiter — Whipped Cream With A Cherry On Top

If you had clear skies this week, you probably noticed the big, bright moon next to the big, bright planet Jupiter. Jupiter drew closest to the Earth on April 8 and now appears brighter in the night sky than at any other time in the year. Not only are beginners and amateurs alike pointing telescopes…
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Astronomers Spot Intense Auroras On Uranus

One of our favorite topics here is the northern lights. Although auroras are uncommon in middle northern latitudes, you can always take a plane or train up to Churchill on Hudson Bay and see them nearly every night of the year. If you could get in a rocket ship and launch for Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,…
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It’s A Blast! Supernova 1987A Celebrates 168,030th Birthday

Reaching magnitude +3 and easily visible to the naked eye, supernova 1987A was the closest and brightest supernova explosion since Kepler’s Supernova in 1604. It made a sudden appearance 30 years ago on February 23, 1987 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located 160,000 light years away in the…
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Pan-STARRS Releases ‘Census Of The Universe’ To The World

Chance are the name “Pan-STARRS” has a familiar ring to it. Beside turning up near-Earth asteroids every week, the Pan-STARRS-1 telescope has  tracked down several bright comets in recent years. In fact, that’s its primary purpose — to discover and track potential Earth-approaching objects, map their orbits and determine if any might pose a threat to our planet…
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