Observing

Jupiter and Venus get extra close in the evening sky

27 August 2016 Ade Ashford

On Saturday 27 August at 22:32 UT (11:32pm BST), a spectacularly close conjunction occurs between Jupiter and Venus just 22 degrees west of the Sun in the constellation of Virgo, when the planetary pair are just 4 arcminutes, or one-fifteenth of a degree, apart. Here is our guide to the best locations and times to view this rare event.

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Flash Point by Brad Goldpaint

27 August 2016 Astronomy Now

The Perseid meteor shower shoots across the sky in the early hours of 13 August 2015, appearing to cascade from Mount Shasta in California, USA. The composite image features roughly 65 meteors.

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Frozen Giant by Nicholas Roemmelt

26 August 2016 Astronomy Now

The celestial curve of the Milky Way joins with the light of a stargazer’s headlamp to form a monumental arch over the Cimon della Pella in the heart of the Dolomites mountain range in northeastern Italy.

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Juno to make closest approach to Jupiter on Saturday

26 August 2016 Astronomy Now

This Saturday NASA’s Juno spacecraft will get closer to the cloud tops of Jupiter than at any other time during its prime mission. At the moment of closest approach, Juno will be about 4,200 kilometres above Jupiter’s swirling clouds and traveling at 208,000 kilometres per hour.

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Lagoon Nebula by Ivan Eder

26 August 2016 Astronomy Now

New stars are formed in the undulating clouds of M8, also commonly referred to as the Lagoon Nebula. This image by Ivan Eder is one of the shortlisted images in this year’s Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

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Massive galaxy discovered made almost entirely of dark matter

26 August 2016 Astronomy Now

An international team of astronomers has discovered a massive galaxy that consists of 99.99 percent dark matter. Even though it is relatively nearby, astronomers had missed the galaxy, named Dragonfly 44, for decades because it is very dim. The galaxy lies about 300 million light-years away in the constellation Coma.

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35 Years On, Voyager’s Legacy Continues at Saturn

25 August 2016 Astronomy Now

Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Saturn 35 years ago — on 25 August 1981. What the Voyagers revealed at the planet was so phenomenal that, just one year later, a joint American and European working group began discussing a mission that would carry on Voyager’s legacy at Saturn.