About 10,000 years ago, in a star system far, far away, a layer of superheated hydrogen gas on the surface of a dead star called a white dwarf erupted in a thermonuclear inferno. The light flash from that explosion finally arrived at Earth last week producing the brightest “nova stella” in our skies since at least August 2013.
The season of spring officially arrives in the Northern Hemisphere Friday at 3:45 pm, Colorado time. That’s the moment when the sun crosses the equator on its way north — what we call the vernal equinox.
The seven bright stars that form the Big Dipper shine prominently above the northeastern horizon as darkness falls in March. It looks as if the Big Dipper is balancing precariously on its bent handle.
Images taken of Ceres by NASA's Dawn spacecraft as it approaches the dwarf planet have far exceeded Hubble’s best shots. We now can see craters large and small pocking Ceres’ surface.
The arrival of Leo into our early evening sky is a sure sign that springtime is not far behind.
This “zodiacal light” is visible as a pyramid-shaped glow that extends upward from the sunrise and sunset points on the horizon.
Little star above Orion is the first star in a stream of stars that create a river in the sky.
This Friday,Feb. 6, Jupiter will reach its closest point to the Earth this year and will remain the dominate star-like object in the nighttime sky through spring and summer.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, after a nine-year, 3 billion-mile journey, is poised to fly past Pluto this summer and reveal to us, at long last, the mysteries of this misfit planet and its five known moons.
High overhead as darkness falls on cold January evenings is a tiny cluster of stars that is often mistaken for the Little Dipper. Although it does have a dipper shape, with a tiny little bowl and a tiny little handle, its real name is the Pleiades star cluster.
Have you seen it yet? The planet Venus has come out of hiding from behind the sun and has entered our evening sky for a seven-month run as our lovely Evening Star.
There is something exciting happening in the sky almost every night of the year if you know when and where to look. Jimmy Westlake has sifted through all of the 2015 celestial events and selected the 10 he is most excited about.
Jimmy Westlake’s 2015 cosmic calendar of celestial events
It has been one year since Comet Lovejoy 2013 R1 glided across our winter sky and upstaged a much overrated and underperforming Comet ISON. Now, Australian comet-hunter Terry Lovejoy’s newest discovery, Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2, is delighting sky gazers in the Northern Hemisphere.
Early risers on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 4 might see as many as 60 meteors per hour before dawn brightens the sky.