Observing

See the International Space Station above the eclipsed Moon on 16 July

16 July 2019 Ade Ashford

The serene beauty of the International Space Station gliding silently across the sky needs nothing more than the naked eye to appreciate. But when the dazzling ISS is also in conjunction with a partially eclipsed Moon, Saturn and Jupiter on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s launch, be sure to look low in the southeast through south around 10:06pm BST on 16 July 2019!

News

Asteroid with shortest year spotted

15 July 2019 Astronomy Now

Astronomers have spotted an unusual asteroid with the shortest “year” known for any asteroid. The rocky body, dubbed 2019 LF6, is about a kilometre in size and circles the Sun roughly every 151 days.

News

Russia launches international X-ray astronomy mission

14 July 2019 Stephen Clark

A Proton rocket and Block DM upper stage climbed into space Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Spektr-RG, an astronomical observatory with dual X-ray telescopes developed by Russian and German scientists on the hunt for the signature of dark energy.

News

Japanese spacecraft snags second sample from asteroid

11 July 2019 Stephen Clark

Scientists celebrated another success with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft late Wednesday (U.S. time), when the robot explorer accomplished a second pinpoint touch-and-go landing on asteroid Ryugu, this time to collect a sample of pristine dust and rock excavated by an explosive impactor earlier this year.

Picture This

Totality over the observatory domes

7 July 2019 Astronomy Now

The path of totality of a solar eclipse touched the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory on 2 July 2019. This rare astronomical event occurred as the observatory celebrated its 50th year of operation.

News

Hayabusa 2 cleared for second touchdown on asteroid

5 July 2019 Stephen Clark

Ground teams have approved plans for Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sample return mission to briefly land on asteroid Ryugu for the second time on 11 July, aiming for a targeted touch-and-go to gather material exposed by an explosive impactor released by the robot explorer in April.