Until the middle of the 19th century, the stars were little more than mysterious points of light. Astronomers could plot a star’s position in the sky, or record changes in its brightness, but that was about all
In a time when astronomers are studying galaxies that are billions of light-years away, you might think that we know everything there is to know about our own cosmic neighborhood.
One of the first items on almost any amateur astronomer’s “to-do” list is completing the Messier marathon — looking at all 110 objects cataloged by Charles Messier. Messier himself began the first marathon 250 years ago.
At Christmas of 1934, a bright “new” star exploded to life in Hercules. For a few days, it was one of the brightest stars in the night sky. It made the front pages of newspapers, and astronomers tracked it for months as it slowly faded from sight.
If you find yourself out gazing at a supermoon with a special someone, here are a few facts to help you impress them because you can actually tell them why the moon looks so huge, and where the term ‘supermoon’ came from.
Over the decades, when astronomers wanted a subject for testing new techniques for studying the stars, they frequently turned to Vega, the brightest star of Lyra, the harp.
One of the most intriguing star systems in the galaxy may be about to get a lot more interesting.
The Beehive, M44, is one of the brightest star clusters in the sky with about 1,000 stars, but this StarDate segment explains that it’s evaporating before our eyes.
Most of the stars that you see in the night sky aren’t alone — they consist of two stars or more. They’re so far away, though, that their light merges into a single pinpoint.
The hours between midnight and dawn tonight offer skywatchers both promise and potential. StarDate promises a beautiful encounter between the moon and the “morning star”.