Secrets of the brightest objects in the universe

Fifty years ago, scientists discovered that quasars — the centers of active galaxies — emit tremendous energy. Here’s what they’ve learned about these extreme objects since then.

Web Extra: View more active galactic nuclei

The universe abounds with active central supermassive black holes.

Is this our final century?

Human civilization’s grip on planet Earth is more tenuous than you might think, argues Astronomer Royal Martin Rees. Our destruction could come from beyond the planet or from our own actions.

Web Extra: The end of the line for our planet

A marauding near-Earth asteroid could spell doom for civilization long before the Sun starts to bake us a billion or so years from now. As intellectual exercises, however, both fates are worth pondering.

Astronomy’s rising stars

From studying our solar system to seeking answers to the biggest mysteries, these 10 young scientists could change how we see the cosmos.

Web Extra: How today’s rising stars got their start

Ten young astronomers describe what sparked their interest in the science and what they love most about their jobs today.

Remembering Carl Sagan and Cosmos

Half a billion people have seen the television series Cosmos. Through it, they met an incredible man.

Discover the ultra-violent sky

Even a medium-sized telescope will show you objects blowing themselves apart, stealing material from companions, and emitting huge quantities of deadly radiation.

How to hunt down Pluto

Here’s what you need to know to find this outer planet denizen of the solar system.

Astronomy tests Oberwerk’s 45° 70mm Binocular Telescope

Superb optics, high-quality workmanship, and interchangeable eyepieces make this product a winner.


The Sky this Month
StarDome and Path of the Planets

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Final Frontier