Q. Pandora's Box: My parents are in their late 80s. When I say they are wonderful people, I mean that sincerely. They have been fair, generous, and loving to me and my siblings and their grandchildren. They are both in declining health--my father probably only has months left to live. I have taken over more of their personal accounts and business--no problem, until I opened my mother's email account for the first time recently to find a receipt.
At the same time, the open cluster Messier 44 (M44), which sits 610 light-years away, will be to the upper left of the moon, forming a neat triangle with M67. Known as the Beehive, M44 is close enough and bright enough to be just visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy spot in the dark sky. Binoculars and small telescopes will reveal about six dozen member stars stretching across 11 light-years of space.
Get set for shooting stars all week long with the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, which will peak on the night of May 5 and into the following morning. Trace the path of the individual meteors and you will notice that they appear to originate from the eastern part of the sky, where Aquarius, the water bearer, can be seen this time of the year.
During the World War II Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, it was hidden along with other valuable artworks in a cave in the southern city of Maastricht. In 1975 a man slashed it with a knife, leaving 12 scars in the canvas, and in 1990 an attacker sprayed acid on the canvas damaging the varnish. It took restorers only a couple of weeks to repair the damage inflicted by the acid.
On July 4, a NASA spacecraft called Juno will reach Jupiter after a five-year flight. The probe will endure a harrowing 35-minute maneuver through Jupiter's punishing radiation belts to get into a long polar orbit. Once there, the Juno mission will study Jupiter's atmosphere and deep interior, skimming closer to the planet's cloud tops than any previous spacecraft.