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Carolyn Collins Petersen
Guide since 2014

About.com Space / Astronomy

Dark Skies are our Heritage

Have you ever heard of light pollution? It's the overuse of light at night. Nearly everyone on Earth has experienced it. Cities are bathed in light, but lights also encroach on the wilderness and rural landscapes as well. The International Dark-Sky Association is a leading authority on light pollution, its causes, and ways to reduce it while preserving safety and security. Check out their Web site, and their video "Losing the Dark", available to watch on Youtube and Vimeo, and downloadable for educators, planetariums, and other outreach professionals.

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Explore Hercules!

Peeking at July Skies


Check out some great sky sights in July! Start out with the planets Mars and Saturn, not far from the stars Spica and Antares, respectively.  (Click on the title to get a bigger version of the star chart.) Antares lies in the plane of the Milky Way and if you direct your gaze to this area, you'll find many star clusters and nebulae to explore! 

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Space / Astronomy Spotlight10

Exploring Around Antares

Introducing the star Antares, in the constellation Scorpius.

What Were the First Stars Like?

A look at the first stars in the universe and their influence on later generations of stars.

Alpha Centauri: Gateway to the Stars

A trip to Alpha Centauri

Visiting Vulcan's Star

A look at the science fiction planet Vulcan and its real-life parent star, 40 Eridani A.

Space Junk Danger

Space junk is debris in orbit around Earth and can pose a threat to orbital and ground-based operations.

Skygazing in July

A short guide to stargazing for the month of July 2014, along with pointers to some useful resources for stargazers.

Some Thoughts about Stargazing

Some musings about astronomy as a science and as a pastime, for people who are interested in any aspect of stargazing: from casual observing to serious scholars.

A Diamond in the Sky?

A look at a recent discovery of a cool stellar object that could have crystallized as it cooled.

Dark Matter 2014

A look at the latest way to study dark matter: through supercomputer simulations.

Curious about Planet Mars?

A look at the Mars Curiosity Rover's first Mars year on the surface of the Red Planet.

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