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Proxima Centauri, our sun’s nearest neighbor

Hubble Space Telescope image of Proxima Centauri, the closest known star to the sun.  Read more about this image.

Hubble Space Telescope image of Proxima Centauri, the closest known star to the sun. Read more about this image. Image via ESA/Hubble & NASA

Proxima Centauri, one of three stars in the Alpha Centauri system, is our sun’s nearest known neighbor among the stars. It’s 4.22 light-years away.

Moon near Regulus, heart of Leo, on May 24

2015-may-24-25-moon-jupiter-regulus

Look for the moon as soon as darkness falls on May 24, 2015. The nearby point of light will be Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.

Two owls

Janet Furlong in Culpeper, Virginia captured this image of two screech owls on May 15, 2015.

Janet Furlong in Culpeper, Virginia captured this image of two screech owls on May 15, 2015.

Looks like screech owls like to snuggle, too.

Moon and Jupiter meet in Cancer the Crab on May 23

The moon and planets are always found on or near the ecliptic - the sun's annual pathway in front of the constellations of the Zodiac.

The moon and planets are always found on or near the ecliptic – the sun’s annual pathway in front of the constellations of the Zodiac.

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2015

View larger. | Scott MacNeill created this wonderful composite image at Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown, Rhode Island, USA.  We love this image, because you can see the meteors coming from their radiant point in the constellation Perseus.  Thank you, Scott!

Scott MacNeill created this wonderful composite image of the Perseid meteor shower in 2013, at Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown, Rhode Island, USA. We love this image, because you can see the meteors coming from their radiant point in the constellation Perseus. Thank you, Scott!

Next up … the Delta Aquarid meteor shower in late July and early August. It overlaps with the famous Perseid meteor shower, peaking on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13, 2015. It’s going to be a wonderful year for the Perseids! Make your campsite reservations now. Follow the links below to learn what to expect for meteor showers during the rest of 2015.

Scared of thunder and lightning? You have astraphobia

Never let your pets watch scary movies. Never a good idea! Image Credit: John Veldboom via Flickr

Thunder and lightning can be scary to pets, too. Image via John Veldboom via Flickr

Bam! Yikes!

Do you – and your dog – have astraphobia?

Saturn’s 2015 opposition is May 22-23

Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI

Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI

The Earth goes between the sun and Saturn on the night of May 22-23, making this Saturn’s special day. Astronomers call this an opposition of Saturn. In other words, Saturn is opposite the sun in Earth’s sky. As a consequence, Saturn rises in the east at sunset, climbs highest up for the night at midnight and sets in the west at sunrise. It is visible all night, closest and brightest for this year.

Most luminous galaxy in the universe

View larger. | Artist's concept via NASA

Artist’s concept via NASA.

NASA said today (May 21, 2015) that its WISE mission has discovered a remote galaxy shining with the light of more than 300 trillion suns. That makes this galaxy the most luminous one found to date.

10 things you might not know about stars

The sun in extreme ultraviolet, false color green

The sun in extreme ultraviolet, false color green

Here’s a collection of 10 unexpected, intriguing facts about the stars of our universe – including our sun – that you probably didn’t know!

Newly named dinosaur had a keen nose

Saurornitholestes sullivani would have been a fierce predator.  Illustration by Mary P. Williams.

Saurornitholestes sullivani would have been a fierce predator. Illustration by Mary P. Williams.

When you discover a new dinosaur species, you get to name it. Steven Jasinski has just named a brand new dinosaur species Saurornitholestes sullivani. This new dinosaur is thought to be related to Velociraptor, the fleet-footed dinosaur villain of the Jurassic Park franchise. Like the creatures portrayed in the movies, the newly named species likely was agile and fast. Plus it had something else: a keen sense of smell. Jasinski says it would have been a fierce predator.