In search of the first stars

Big, blue, and bright, the first stars were unique monsters that changed cosmic evolution.

Web Extra: In search of the first galaxies

The Hubble Space Telescope peered long and hard at a tiny region of the constellation Fornax, returning images of the youngest galaxies ever seen.

What happens when stars die?

Stellar corpses litter our universe — white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes.

Web Extra: Modeling a star’s last breath

Computer simulations are more-accurately showing how massive stars die.

A century of variable star observing

Since its start in 1911, the American Association of Variable Star Observers has served amateur and professional astronomers.

Web Extra: How to make a variable-star estimate

Learn how to make your own light curves so you too can help contribute to the American Association of Variable Star Observers.

Web Extra: Putting names to the faces of history

Learn about the people and places behind our opening collage for “A century of variable star observing.”

Explore Abell’s obscure planetary nebulae

Scant details, low surface brightnesses, and tiny sizes scare away most amateur astronomers. The best observers, however, see this list of faint, dead suns as a challenge.

Web Extra: Observe all of the Abell planetary nebulae

Challenge yourself with this list of faint, dead suns.

10 great summer binocular sights

Give your telescope a night off and target these wonders through binoculars.

Web Extra: 10 top summer binocular treats

You won’t need a large telescope to spot these celestial wonders.

Choose a star atlas that’s right for you

Before heading out into the night, make sure you’re armed with the best maps.

Meet the PowerNewt

This new Boren-Simon astrograph offers 8 inches of aperture, a fast focal ratio, and high-quality optics.

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