Between 2002 and 2006, the Hubble telescope took photos of an explosion coming from a red variable star in the constellation Monoceros, about 20,000 light years from the Sun. This is a time-lapse video of those photos.
Chandra Sky Map - Joe DePasquale runs through the process of creating the map and some helpful tips for using the interactive tool.
Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler mission have discovered the three smallest planets yet detected orbiting a star beyond our sun. The planets orbit a single star, called KOI-961, and are 0.78, 0.73 and 0.57 times the radius of Earth. The smallest is about the size of Mars.
ESO scientists have found an 'extremely primitive star' in the Milky Way's halo - 4/5 the size of the Sun, one of the oldest ever found - that theory says is impossible. It has fifty times less lithium in it than expected in the material produced by the Big Bang. [more inside]
A gamma ray burst nicknamed GRB 110328A (i.e. detected 3/28/2011) appears to be the legacy of a star being torn apart by a supermassive black hole, leaving a peak brightness one trillion times the sun's brightness as it met its ancient inevitable end.
Jack Horkheimer, host of "Star Gazer" (formerly known as "Star Hustler") has died. See this excellent post on Horkheimer's work.
The Perseids Meteor shower will peak Thursday night through early Friday morning. Use the Dark Sky Finder to find a good place to watch. The Perseids is visible every year, but it's easier to see during the new moon. [more inside]
Confused about the cosmos? Can't tell a planet from a star? Then give us just five minutes, and we'll show you what they are.
"Some people hustle pool; some people hustle cars. Then there's that man you've heard about, the one who hustles stars!" Greetings, greetings, fellow stargazers! Looking toward your computer screen today, you'll find Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer, a five-minute show that has been in weekly production for over thirty years, airing in-betweensies on many PBS stations. Contrary to the cheeky bio on Jack's website, it wasn't always easy for Jack to "keep looking up!" This 9/19/1982 Miami Herald article reveals that he grew up as a sickly boy, eventually meandering to Florida to stumble into his avocation and vocation as Director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium, only to watch his life's work almost crumble due to a PR nightmare. Since then, however, things have been much better: Star Gazer (originally called Star Hustler, then changed in 1997 due to internet search engines leading people to Hustler Magazine's website) has been nationally syndicated since 1985 (and internationally since 1989), chalking up over 1500 episodes. A book of his monthly cartoons has been published. The Astronomical League sponsors The Jack Horkheimer Award for Exceptional Service by a Young Astronomer. (2008's winner.) So whether you find Jack avuncular or creepy, Jack Horkheimer is, to many, the face of popular backyard astronomy. [more inside]
“Here was an object brand new. At first we didn’t recognize it.” Dr. Alicia Soderberg on the discovery of Supernova 2008D, using the Swift satellite telescope....
Learn to navigate using the stars in 15 minutes! OK, well maybe not navigate, but you'll know exactly where Orion, Betelgeuse, Polaris (the North Star), Cassiopeia, and Jupiter are.
3D Starmaps by Winchell Chung. (I knew him for his game illustrations before I ever knew about his starmaps.) The site contains lots of information about how to make 2D/3D starmaps from standard star tables, a nice selection of pre-existing maps and one of the best listings of 3D starmap software around.
Rotating RAdio Transients (RRATs) are one of the newest things in radio astronomy. According to Sky and Telescope magazine, a team of astronomers analyzing data from the Parkes Radio Telescope have seen a number of neutron stars that have emitted sporadic but powerful radio bursts. RRATs (pdf) have spin properties that resemble magnetars. The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) could help find many new RRATs.