Top 10 stories of 2008

Astronomers saw the first moments of a star’s death, the Phoenix Lander tasted martian water, exoplanet hunters discovered a mini version of our solar system, and more.

Web extra: Space and astronomy stories to watch for in 2009

Major astronomy and space events planned for 2009 include the first major test of the space shuttle replacement, a rendezvous of the Dawn spacecraft with Mars, and the launch of a roving laboratory to the Red Planet.

Is our galaxy running out of gas?

New results from the Spitzer Space Telescope suggest the Milky Way is creating so many stars that it may run out of gas in a billion years.

Web extra: A glimpse of the Milky Way

Two infrared surveys conducted by the Spitzer Space Telescope have revealed the Milky Way like never before.

How Johannes Kepler revolutionized astronomy

This 17th-century German astronomer explained planetary orbits, discovered light’s
inverse-square law, and wrote the first modern book on optics.

Explore the sky’s spooky reflection nebulae

You’ll need a big scope and a dark sky to explore the van den Bergh catalog’s challenging objects.

The van den Bergh catalog

Download a list of the 158 reflection nebulae that Sidney van den Bergh catalogued.

Find your way through the winter sky

The crisp, clear skies of winter beckon beginning observers.

Orion’s StarBlast 6 makes a great first scope

This grab-and-go telescope offers 6 inches of light-gathering in a compact design.


This Month in Astronomy
Beautiful Universe
Bob Berman’s Strange Universe
Stephen James O’Meara’s Secret Sky
The Sky this Month
Ask Astro


Big and small

Scenic vista

Phil Harrington’s Binocular Universe

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