The rich constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius are moving westward, but the lengthening nights keep these stars accessible for a little longer, at least for observers in the northern hemisphere. In the east, the relatively star-poor constellations of Pegasus, Capricornus, and Piscis Austrinus are moving into view along with hundreds of galaxies accessible with a small telescope. Also this month, Jupiter and Saturn liven up the southwestern sky, the planet Neptune
reaches opposition, and Venus remains low but bright in the west after sunset. Here's what's going on in the Night Sky This Month.
6. Many amateur astronomers were shocked by the sudden (if not unexpected) closure of the specialty astro-publisher Willmann-Bell last year. But the American Astronomical Society has come to the rescue
and will begin to offer Willmann-Bell books for sale late next month. And yes, that includes new volumes of the epic "Annals of the Deep Sky" series!
7.In 1994, graduate student Didier Queloz emailed his adviser Michel Mayor the following message: "I think I found a planet." He was right. Mayor and Didier made the first discovery of an exoplanet around the star 51 Pegasi. For their work, they shared a Nobel Prize in 2019. Since then, astronomers have found thousands of exoplanets around nearby stars. Now, they're trying to figure out what these
planets are all about.
10. Instead of music this month, a video. The incomparable Carl Sagan reflects on an image of the Earth
, smaller than a single pixel, taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it passed by Saturn in early 1990. Required listening for every thoughtful human seeking perspective on our place in the universe. (Now if only we had more thoughtful humans).
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