In recent years, earthly observers couldn't see Saturn's southern hemisphere. It was largely hidden behind Saturn's rings. In 2021, Saturn's rings and north pole reached their maximum tilt toward Earth, and now the southern hemisphere is coming back into view ... colored blue.
The Lunar Crater Radio Telescope is now moving into Phase 2 of development. It'll be built by robots, into a natural bowl-shaped crater on the moon's far side. If completed, it'll be the largest radio telescope in the solar system.
Did you know that the closest planet to the sun, Mercury, has a tail much like a comet? You can see it in photographs taken with special filters to highlight sodium blown off the planet by the solar wind.
Scientists call it a "diffuse auroral eraser." That's because this newly named aurora first appears as a bright stripe over a diffuse auroral background. Then, when it disappears, it scrubs out the faint auroral light behind it.
Now 8 years into its travels in the deep reaches of space between the stars, Voyager 1 has detected a faint, low-level hum. It stems from the vibration of the plasma, or ionized gas, in interstellar space.
Kelly Kizer Whitt has been a science writer specializing in astronomy for more than two decades. She began her career at Astronomy Magazine, and she has made regular contributions to AstronomyToday and the Sierra Club, among other outlets. Her children’s picture book, Solar System Forecast, was published in 2012. She has also written a young adult dystopian novel titled A Different Sky. When she is not reading or writing about astronomy and staring up at the stars, she enjoys traveling to the national parks, creating crossword puzzles, running, tennis, and paddleboarding. Kelly lives with her family in Wisconsin.