Martian chronicles

During four centuries of earthbound observations, astronomers seeking detail on the Red Planet found plenty – much of it real, some of it imagined.

What is Mars trying to hide?

Tattooed with craters and gullies, this dusty planet holds secrets of a wild youth. Scientists are studying the scars to piece together Mar’s active past, which may not have ended as long ago as we think.

Blazing a new path

With a single goal – to test the hypothesis that Mars once had an earthlike geology, climate, and maybe even biology – the Mars Exploration Rovers are set to rove NASA into a new era of planetary exploration.

Lupus and Norma

Stunning star clusters, picturesque planetary nebulae, and glittering galaxies lend some of the Milky Way’s sparkle to the Wolf and Carpenter’s Square.

Get ready for Mars

After all the previews, build-ups, and prognostications, the time for observing Mars at its best finally has arrived. Use these helpful hints to get the most out of the time you and Mars spend at the telescope during the next few months.

Filtering the sky

Get the most detail out of your sky views by using color filters. In this how-to, we introduce you to the filters best suited to your favorite planets.

Imaging the Red Planet

The great opposition is this month, and you have a brand-new CCD to take wonderful images. But do you have the know-how? One of the world’s great planetary imagers details how you can produce breathtaking images with your CCD.

An upgraded classic

The LXD-55 series combines classic looks with cutting-edge computer technology. Find out if this is your next purchase as ASTRONOMY field-tests a new line of Schmidt-Newtonian telescopes from Meade.


The sky this month
Beautiful universe
Bob Berman’s strange universe
Glenn Chaple’s observing basics
The sky this month
Ask Astro
New products
Book reviews
Coming events
Advertiser index
Reader gallery