Weighing the Milky Way Galaxy

Like early explorers mapping the continents of our globe, astronomers are busy charting the spiral structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Using infrared images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists have discovered that the Milky Way’s elegant spiral structure is dominated by just two arms sweeping off the ends of a central bar of[…]

Where are the five brightest stars in our sky?

Going out to look up at the stars on a clear, dark night can be daunting, if not for its beauty and majesty but for what may seem like an uncountable number of stars; you often hear the comment “there are millions” of stars”! Indeed, there are quite a few more than mere “millions”; there[…]

Tonight’s Southern Celestial Spectacle

As twilight deepens tonight and as you step outside facing south, it’s as though nature was trying to dress to impress, complete with her best jewels! Tonight’s waxing gibbous moon, less than 24 hours before full, is in Sagittarius, set against the far more distant galactic center. Although the sky’s brightness will continue to increase[…]