Famous Halley’s Comet reaches a distant milestone this coming weekend.
It’s lonely out there in the frozen outer solar system. On Saturday, December 9th, that most famous of all comets 1P/Halley reaches a hallmark point on its 75-year journey through the solar system, reaching aphelion or its most distant point from the Sun.
A pioneering method suggests that the size of our Sun and the solar radius may be due revision.
Our host star is full of surprises. Studying our Sun is the most essential facet of modern astronomy: not only does Sol provide us with the only example of a star we can study up close, but the energy it provides fuels life on Earth, and the space weather it produces impacts our modern technological civilization.
Now, a new study, titled The Acoustic Size of the Sunsuggests that a key parameter in modern astronomy and heliophysics—the diameter of the Sun—may need a slight tweak.
JUICE Prepares for a first of its kind double-flyby next year.
A Jupiter-bound mission adjusted its course last week…for a rendezvous with Earth. The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE) fired its thrusters for 43 minutes on Friday, November 17th. This sets the mission up for a first of its kind double-flyby next year on August 23rd, as it passes the Moon and then the Earth to pick up momentum.
A top name in smartscope technology releases an exciting new limited edition unit.
A great product just got better. France-based telescope maker Vaonis announced this week the release of an upgraded version of their Vespera smartscope telescope. Dubbed Vespera: Passengers, the telescope promises users will “embark on a cosmic odyssey, unveiling the Universe’s best kept secrets.” But you have to act soon to reserve yours, as only 70 of the 222 limited edition units are left.
Two recent asteroid discoveries made by an amateur astronomer highlight what is possible, with access to the right equipment.
When it comes to hunting for new astronomical discoveries these days, the competition is stiff. Gone are the days of the lone astronomer with a telescope perched on a lonely hilltop, patiently sweeping the skies looking for something new and out of place.
These days, it’s the ‘robotic eyes’ of all-sky surveys are more likely to make astronomical discoveries. Tirelessly canvassing the sky from dark locales night after night, these sentinels have definitely won the war when it comes to new discoveries. You’re more likely to see a survey name like ‘ATLAS’ or ‘PanSTARRS’ on a new comet today than say, ‘Johnson’ or ‘Smith’.
An old refractor telescope sees a second life under the night skies, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated amateur observer.
It’s always great to see classic telescopes back out under the night skies. We recently found out about a fascinating project to restore a century old refracting telescope. The project was undertaken by Valts Treibergs, a Minnesota Astronomical Society member. Valts is an engineer, telescope restorer, and long-time amateur astronomer.
NASA’s Lucy mission hits the jackpot on its very first asteroid flyby earlier this week.
Welcome to Dinkinesh. NASA’s Lucy mission flew past its first target of Wednesday, November 1st, and turned up a surprise: 152830 Dinkinesh (meaning ‘marvelous’ in the Amharic language) is not one asteroid, but two (!)
Discovered early this year, Comet C/2023 H2 Lemmon may approach naked eye brightness this month.
A comet discovered earlier this year is performing above expectations, and is currently well-placed in the dusk sky. We’re talking about Comet C/2023 H2 Lemmon, moving up the charts now at magnitude +8 and brightening.
A slender partial lunar eclipse bookends the final eclipse season of 2023.
Checking out the October Hunter’s Full Moon this coming weekend? This Full Moon is also special, as it features the final eclipse of 2023. The eclipse is a partial lunar, and occurs on the night of Saturday/Sunday, October 28th/29th.