See the Moon’s ringed-planet rendezvous on 3-4 February

1 February 2016 Ade Ashford

At 6am GMT on the mornings of 3 and 4 February, around the onset of astronomical twilight for the centre of the British Isles, the old waning crescent Moon brushes by ringed planet Saturn low to the south-southeast horizon. As a bonus for telescope users, the Moon occults globular cluster M9 shortly after 6am GMT on 4 February too.

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Hubble sees starburst in the maelstrom of a galactic merger

1 February 2016 Astronomy Now

This Hubble image is of the peculiar galaxy NGC 1487, lying about 30 million light-years away. We are witnessing the possible merger of several dwarf galaxies into a new single galaxy. Its appearance is dominated by large areas of bright blue stars, illuminating the patches of gas that gave them life. This burst of star formation may well have been triggered by the merger.