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Perseid outburst expected in 2016

Outburst – perhaps 200 meteors an hour – predicted for 2016 Perseid meteor shower. Peak night August 11-12, but watch on the nights leading up to the peak, too.

Watch for Delta Aquarid meteors

Delta Aquarid shower officially began mid-July. Nominal peak July 28 or 29. The shower is long and rambling. If you watch the Perseids in August, you’ll see Delta Aquarids then, too.

Cloud study reveals Venus’ surface

Scientists had suspected that mountains on Venus affected weather patterns seen rippling across Venus’ cloudtops. A new study provides evidence of this connection.

A year of Earth from a million miles

Watch a full year of Earth’s sunlit side, seen from a million miles away by the DSCOVR spacecraft.

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Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous

Look for the waning gibbous moon late at night. It might look strangely oblong. Or look for it in the west in early morning, floating against the pale blue sky.

Total eclipse of sun: August 21, 2017

First total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. since 1991 (seen only from part of Hawaii), and first visible from contiguous U.S. since 1979. Start planning now!

Moon shadow in 2017 eclipse

Fly along with Earth’s shadow in a video depicting the path of the August 21, 2017 total eclipse of the sun, first eclipse over the continental U.S. since 1979.

Healthy forests need birds and bees

A new study shows that we humans can help maintain healthy forests by focusing conservation efforts on the protection of animal pollinators and seed dispersers.

The X at the center of the Milky Way

Computer models, and observations of our galaxy and others, suggested a Milky Way X, made of stars. An analysis of data from the WISE space telescope reveals it.

What exactly is twilight?

Twilight is the time of day between daylight and darkness. Astronomers, the experts on nighttime, recognize three kinds of twilight.

1st half of 2016 warmest on record

The 6-month period from January to June was our planet’s warmest half-year in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880.

Protoplanet blasted out Mare Imbrium

Mare Imbrium basin on the moon – the Man in the Moon’s right eye – might have been made by a protoplanet-sized impact, 3.8 billion years ago.

Star of the week: Vega

One of the prettiest stories in all skylore surrounds this star. “On the 7th night of the 7th moon … “