Jupiter's second moon, Europa, remains the likeliest place for extraterrestrial life. Its warm salty oceans get replenished with amino acids from incoming comets. To see more of NASA's space tourism posters, log on to: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/visions-of-the-future/

Close look at a giant in the sky

This week, Jupiter stands at “opposition” (to the Sun), when it’s closest to us, and brightest and biggest of the entire year. You’ve already probably noticed it. It’s that single ultrabright “star” in…

sun-@

Gravity waves, daylight and a brilliant planet

So now we’re sure that gravity waves exist. Is this exciting? I think most physicists are sort of excited. We’ve long believed that they’re real. Even way back in college, we all trusted…

This next week is an ideal time for stargazing and especially exploring the Moon, which is now ideally illuminated for breathtaking detail. None of it costs a penny. Please also consider coming to my free 8 p.m. talk at SUNY-New Paltz’s Coykendall Science Building this Tuesday evening, February 16, for the Mid-Hudson Astronomy Association. (photo by Thomas Bresson)

Romance in the heavens: Where to find free Valentine’s gifts

When I was a teenager, I fell in love a couple of times. I’d sweep my hand towards the night sky and say, “That’s Arcturus. That’s your star.” Girlfriends loved that. (Yes, I…

Aurora Borealis (Beverly)

Great easy spectacles…like this weekend’s unique triangle

When you go online, you probably first get to a welcome screen. It delivers the day’s news and sometimes includes a high-profile upcoming astronomy event. Since 2010, such sky headlines have revolved around…

Almanac Weekly’s Night Sky columnist Bob Berman in his observatory in Willow (photo by Philip Kamrass | Albany Times Union)

That striking planet alignment is this week

This past week, the major media carried headlines about a lineup of planets. They urged everyone to watch the sky just before dawn. Except they all got it wrong. It seems no one…

(Photo by Umberto Salvagnin)

Exploring Nature’s rarest phase

With streams freezing up, we’re temporarily losing something very special – something incredibly rare in the universe: an environment with liquids! The wonderful-but-often-colorized images from Hubble, and the striking stuff viewed through a…

(Surian Soosay)

The adoration of the Unknown

We’re still learning how to gain knowledge. It’s hit-and-miss. In some scientific areas our hard data is almost complete. We can rattle off every element’s properties (well, almost every element; oddly enough, we’re…

(NASA)

The middle of the Sun, the Earth and the universe

What would you find at the exact center of our world? the Sun? the Universe? Anyone with a below-ground basement or who visits a cavern knows that just a few feet down, the…

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Solar: Buy, lease — or forget the whole thing?

It was hard to imagine a few short years ago. Here in upstate New York, where it’s cloudy half the time, solar panels are taking off. Even though Congress just extended the biggest…

(Alexey Kljatov)

2016 has plenty of astronomical treats in store

It’s a New Year in the sky, so let’s preview it. But first, step outdoors just after everyone has stopped clinking glasses. The opening of 2016 brims with sky candy. At midnight, precisely…

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