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Read news from the world of astronomy for the week of January 12, 2018.









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Latest News


































Hefty Stars Prompt Birth Debate
A new study found more massive stars than expected in an intensely star-forming region. The results beg the question whether the process of star formation really is universal.
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Metal-rich Stars Host Closer Planets
Iron-rich stars host planets on closer orbits than their iron-poor siblings, astronomers find. The results could help reveal how planets form.
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Mysterious Cosmic Bursts Traced to Extreme Environment
A repeating fast radio burst first detected in 2012 likely formed within a potent magnetic field — opening up the ambiguity of what caused the mysterious burst.
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Ringed Disks Don’t Always Mean Planets
Astronomers presenting at the winter American Astronomical Society meeting caution that the features often pointed to as evidence of growing natal planets could form on their own.
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Observing Highlights



































This Week’s Sky at a Glance, January 12 – 20
Learn what's in the sky this week. Saturday features the Moon above Mercury and Saturn.
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Catch these Comets in 2018
We look ahead to see what fuzzy visitors, newly-discovered or returning, will brighten the nights ahead. One and possibly two naked-eye comets are on the way.
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Tour January’s Sky: Planet Pairings at Dawn
January's astronomy podcast describes how to spot Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in the predawn sky during January — plus you'll learn about a "trifecta" full Moon at month's end.
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Comet Discoverer Thomas Bopp (1949–2018)
An unassuming amateur astronomer forever linked to one of the greatest comets in modern history has passed away.
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Plan all of your stargazing sessions with the essential 2018 Skygazer's Almanac Poster!




































If you're an active backyard observer — or just celestially curious — you're always looking for quick, reliable information about "what's up" in the nighttime sky. The editors at Sky & Telescope are no different. This 22x30" poster represents a fruitful melding of detailed computations and graphic representation that has been perfected over the years so you can see, at a glance, which planets and constellations are visible, and what the Moon's phase is, on any given date and time of night throughout the year.



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