Art and design






Life and style








US news

World news

Starwatch: in Orion's sword is the hazy blob where stars are born

Starwatch Orion 12 Feb 2018

This week is a good one for finding the constellation of Orion: it stands bolt upright in the evening sky. The chart shows the view looking due south at 20:00 GMT on 12 February. The most noticeable thing to look for is Orion’s belt comprising three stars: Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. Look upwards from the belt and you find the red giant star Betelgeuse (famously pronounced beetle-juice). It marks one of Orion’s shoulders and is conspicuously red in colour. About as far below the belt is the bright blue-white star Rigel. The real prize, however, hangs just below the belt. Three fainter stars make up Orion’s sword. The lower one, Hatysa, is the brightest but look closely at the middle “star” and you will see it is not a star at all but a hazy pink blob. It is the star-forming region known as the Orion nebula, which houses thousands of nascent stars.

This article titled "Starwatch: in Orion's sword is the hazy blob where stars are born" was written by Stuart Clark, for The Guardian on Sunday 11 February 2018 09.30pm


Rejecting the Solutrean hypothesis: the first peoples in the Americas were not from Europe

Last month’s release of The Ice Bridge, an episode in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation series… Read more

Spacewatch: Nasa planet hunter will target the rock zone

Nasa’s next planet hunting mission has arrived at the Kennedy Space Centre, in Florida, for final… Read more

Starwatch: the early morning moon passes Regulus

This week’s “must see” is another for early risers. On 1 March the almost full Moon will pass very… Read more

The drugs do work: antidepressants are effective, study shows

Antidepressants work – some more effectively than others – in treating depression, according to… Read more

Scientists make cells glow so brightly they can be seen outside the body

Scientists have stolen a trick from fireflies and jellyfish to make animals with cells that glow so… Read more

Why we are sceptical of antidepressant analysis | Letters

It was disappointing to read such an uncritical description of the latest analysis of… Read more

Neanderthals – not modern humans – were first artists on Earth, experts claim

More than 65,000 years ago, a Neanderthal reached out and made strokes in red ochre on the wall of… Read more

Lab notes: meet the primitive Picassos – our arty ancestors the Neanderthals

This week’s biggest stories This weeks headlines have been full of our ancestors, most prominently… Read more

The new specimen forcing a radical rethink of Archaeopteryx

Have you heard? There is a new Archaeopteryx in town. Number 12, to be exact. Technically, this… Read more

Arrival of Beaker folk changed Britain for ever, ancient DNA study shows

The largest ever study on ancient DNA has shown that Britain was changed forever by the arrival of… Read more