Don’t miss out on the great planetary trio of May 2013. When three planets meet up in the same part of the sky, coming less than 5o of one another, the grouping is called a planetary trio. This month’s planetary trio is the first since May 2011 and the last until October 2015.
Search Results for: moon
To all who shared your images with us … thank you.
Answers to commonly asked questions about seeing one of nature’s wonders: the aurora borealis or northern lights.
May 25-25 supermoon rising over Marikina City, Philippines.
May full moon on night of May 24-25. Supermoon. A very very very subtle lunar eclipse.
The full moon on May 24-25 is a supermoon, but the perigee full moon on June 23 will be the most “super” supermoon of five in 2013.
The full moon tonight – May 24-25, 2013 – is a supermoon.
You can catch a trio of planets – Mercury, Venus and Jupiter – in deepening western twilight during the final week of May 2013.
We passed between Saturn and the sun late last month. Identify this planet tonight!
Four images from space, from NASA and NOAA satellites, of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado on May 20, 2013.
The third star in the system, a red dwarf called Proxima Centauri, is thought to be about 4.22 light-years distant and is actually our sun’s closest neighbor.
Tonight see Saturn and Spica near the waxing gibbous moon. Spica is a double star system, and both stars are hotter and brighter than the sun.
Once you’ve used the Big Dipper to find the orange star Arcturus, you can continue on to find the star Spica – and the planet Saturn.
The star Deneb, in the Summer Triangle, is 1,500 light-years away – or more.
.Two planets await you in the western twilight, and set shortly thereafter, but the moon and Regulus stay out all evening long.
That might seem like a lot, but new results suggest Mars gets pummeled by space rocks less frequently than previously thought.
Learn about the constellation Cancer – and learn why you probably won’t see it tonight in the moon’s glare.
“I felt that if I could show people what New York City looked like on other planets, I’d give people a sense of how lucky we are to be living on Earth.”
On May 15, 1836, Francis Baily, an English astronomer, saw strange patterns of light shining through the moon during an eclipse of the sun.
A ring or circle of light around the sun or moon is called a halo by scientists. They’re a sign of high thin cirrus clouds drifting above our heads.
Halos around the moon – or sun – are a sign of thin cirrus clouds drifting high above our heads. They are a sign of nearby storms.
Bright, bluish Vega marks the constellation Lyra the Harp. See Vega in the northeast in mid-evening in May, 2012.
The moon is now back in the evening sky. It’s a waxing crescent, also called a young moon.
See the Twin stars in the constellation Gemini near tonight’s moon. Also, remember to look for the planets Venus and Jupiter in the western sky at dusk.
A team has just discovered an exoplanet using a new method that relies on Einstein’s special theory of relativity.
Jupiter and Venus are both now visible after sunset. As the month passes, Mercury will join them. Meanwhile, Saturn is also in the evening sky.
Jupiter and Venus line up with the moon in the western sky after sunset on May 13, 2013. Start watching these planets now. They have an awesome conjunction ahead!
The moon and brilliant planet Jupiter are close together in the west after sunset on May 12, 2013. The bright planet Venus is also nearby.
You’ll need an unobstructed horizon to see the planet Venus below the moon and Jupiter on May 11, 2013.
Atmospheric distortion caused the sun and moon to look flattened in this image of the May 9-10, 2013 annular solar eclipse.
Catch the youngest of young moons near the planet Venus on Friday, May 10. Jupiter is the bright object above them in the western twilight.
Water inside the moon’s mantle came from primitive meteorites, new research finds, the same source thought to have supplied most of the water on Earth.
To see the annular eclipse of the sun from land on Friday, May 10, 2013, you have to be in just the right place in Australia, Papua New Guinea or the Solomon Islands.
There’s not an eclipse at every new and full moon, but there are from four to seven eclipses every year. Some are lunar, some are solar, some are total, and some are partial.
Rick Shanahan photographed the May 20, 2012 annular solar eclipse.
A solar eclipse will take place over a large swath of the Pacific Ocean on May 9-10. It’s May 9 to east of the International Date Line and May 10 to the west.
You might still see a few Eta Aquarid meteors, and you’ll surely see random meteors or meteors in minor showers in a dark-enough sky. Next major shower: Late July and early August.
Study finds bats may recognize the voices of other bats belonging to their social group.
Stanislaus Ronny Terrance photographed the April 25, 2013 partial lunar eclipse as seen from Frankfurt, Germany.
Those in the Australian outback and parts of the Pacific Ocean will be able to view an annular solar eclipse. Elsewhere … a partial eclipse.
Take advantage of the dark, moonless evening sky tonight. Find the constellation Hercules and its famous Keystone asterism.
After the rain, the return of the moon this morning in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
No matter where you are, expect to see the most Eta Aquarid meteors in a dark sky between midnight and dawn on May 5, 2013.
The best viewing time for the Eta Aquarid meteor shower will probably be tomorrow (Sunday) morning, from about 3:00 a.m. until dawn.
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is now peaking in the wee hours before dawn. With a dark sky, you could see 20 to 40 meteors an hour.
Eta Aquarids peak before dawn May 4, 5, and 6. Good for both Northern and Southern Hemisphere. How to watch, history, radiant point, here.
If you step outside at night from a bright room, you won’t see many stars at first. It takes up to 30 minutes for your eyes to become “dark-adapted.”
EarthSky friend VegaStar Carpentier combined astrophotography and artistry to capture the moon on the night of April 30-May 1, 2013.
People in the Middle Ages believed that May’s birthstone, the emerald, held the power to foretell the future.
On May 1, 1930, 11-year-old Venetia Burney received £5 for naming Pluto, then the solar system’s outermost and newest planet.
EarthSky Facebook friend Manish Mamtani Photography contributed this photo of the moon rising over Yosemite National Park.
On May evenings, the disk of our Milky Way galaxy coincides with the plane of the horizon. Because it is low in the sky in all directions, we can’t see it.
Omega Centauri is the largest and finest star cluster visible to the eye alone from the Northern Hemisphere. Let Saturn and Spica help you find it.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists the first close-up, visible-light views of a behemoth hurricane swirling around Saturn’s north pole.
Earth passes between the sun and Saturn on April 28, 2013. Astronomers say that the planet Saturn is at opposition to the sun today. It’s the best time to see Saturn!
Iridescent clouds – clouds with rainbow colors – happen when especially tiny water droplets or small ice crystals individually scatter light.
Look along a line between the stars Arcturus and Vega – slightly closer to Vega than Arcturus – for the Keystone in Hercules. Plus you can’t miss Venus and the moon!
Best photos from EarthSky friends around the world of the partial lunar eclipse of April 25, 2013.
Yesterday’s eclipse was viewed and enjoyed by many. Visit EarthSky on Facebook or G+ for many more great eclipse photos.
This video includes two eclipses by the moon, the largest flare of our current cycle, the Comet Lovejoy and the transit of Venus.
The moon looked round and full last night. Full moon comes today – April 25, 2013 – with a partial lunar eclipse.
Tonight, as seen from the Earth’s Eastern Hemisphere, the full moon barely clips the Earth’s dark shadow (umbra) for 27 minutes, to present one of the shortest partial eclipses in the twenty-first century.
The April 25-26 lunar eclipse is a partial, lasting just 27 minutes – the third-shortest partial lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
Comet ISON could be spectacular sight in fall 2013. Look here for a month-by-month viewing guide.
On the night of April 24, look for three star-like objects near the moon. Two are true stars: Spica and Arcturus. The third object is the planet Saturn.
We’re now more than a day past the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower. Check out this cool image of meteors, star trails and a foreground lit by a bright moon.
Earth will pass between Saturn and the sun this weekend. Tonight and two following nights – April 23, 24 and 25 – are a wonderful time to identify Saturn.
Landsat satellites have provided a near-continuous record of Earth’s surface seen from space for over 40 years. Newest Landsat launched February 11.
For the past few days, our friends around the world have been out at night looking for meteors. Here are some of the great pics they’ve shared them with us!
In celebration of Earth Day 2013, EarthSky has brought together the best images of Earth received from our friends over the past year. Thank you all!
Tonight presents a bright moon and another night for the 2013 Lyrid meteor shower. Watch late night April 22 to dawn April 23. No meteors? Check out Lyra the Harp!
The 2013 Lyrid meteor shower will peak late night until dawn this weekend. Wherever you live, expect to see the most meteors during the dark hour before dawn.
Can’t wait for tonight’s Lyrid meteor shower, or can’t watch due to clouds? Check out this beautiful video of the 2010 Geminid shower.
The radiant point for the Lyrid meteor shower is near the brilliant star Vega in the constellation Lyra.
The International Space Station cuts a trail of light across the night sky.
The 2013 Lyrid meteor shower is active from about April 16-25, and the meteor numbers are expected to strengthen as the moon waxes during the weekend of April 19-21.
The moon can guide you to the Cancer the Crab tonight among the stars. When the moon moves away, you can glimpse a treasure within Cancer.
Tips from an EarthSky community member on how to find a good location for the Lyrid meteor shower – and useful things to take with you if you decide to go out.
First quarter moon – when the moon appears half illuminated – comes on April 18. Last night, the line between light and dark on the moon was very slightly curved.
A team of astronomers has discovered a dust-filled, massive galaxy churning out stars when the cosmos was a mere 880 million years old — making it the earliest starburst galaxy ever observed.
A team of astronomers has used the new ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) telescope to pinpoint the locations of over 100 of the most fertile star-forming galaxies in the early universe.
You might see a lot or you might not see many, but if you stay in the house, you won’t see any.
When darkness falls, look for Venus, Mars and Saturn. On April 27, look also for the waxing moon close to Gemini stars, Castor and Pollux.
The moon is in front of the Winter Circle tonight. The Winter Circle is an asterism – a group of stars that is not a constellation.
Here are two solar halos spotted over separate parts of Canada, at different times of day, yesterday.
The moon has pulled up and away from Jupiter on this Monday evening. We won’t see the waxing moon in Taurus the Bull again until around May 10-13, 2013.
Be sure to look in the west after sunset on April 14 to see the waxing crescent moon and very bright planet Jupiter. A wonderful sight!
Look in the west after sunset April 13 for the waxing crescent moon below the bright planet Jupiter. On April 14, you’ll see a wider lunar crescent closer to Jupiter.
Tonight presents a great view of the western sky as the young lunar crescent comes out at dusk, and the Pleiades cluster and the star Aldebaran join up later.
The ice cloud above Titan’s south pole can be seen only at infrared wavelengths. It means autumn is here, and winter is coming, for Titan’s southern hemisphere.
That glow over the unlit part of a crescent moon – called earthshine – is light reflected from Earth.
A waxing crescent moon, like the one you’ll see in tonight’s western sky after the sun goes down
This article gives some suggestions that can help you find out the rising and setting times for the sun, moon and planets in your sky.
If you live in Northern Hemisphere you might be able to catch an exceedingly young lunar crescent pairing up with the planet Jupiter after sunset on April 11.
Why capture an asteroid? It’s something NASA wants to learn to do, in case astronomers someday find an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
New moon falls on this date. That means the moon is crossing the sky with the sun during the day. But catch a young moon after sunset on April 11.
The annual Lyrid meteor shower is active from about April 16 to 25. In a dark sky, you might see 10 to 20 meteors per hour.
International Dark Sky Week is happening right now (April 5-11) . To celebrate, enjoy these fantastic pics – they make us say WOW. And post your own.
A clump of faint stars trailing the constellation Leo once represented the Lion’s tail – but now these stars are known as a queen’s beautiful hair.
A new study suggests that the way carbon moves from within a planet to the surface plays a big role in the evolution of a planet’s atmosphere. If Mars released much of its carbon as methane, for example, it might have been warm enough to support liquid water.
Why? In part because there’s a growing realization that Earth is vulnerable to an asteroid strike.
You can use bright stars in the constellation Leo to star-hop to the Coma star cluster.
Seeing Mercury is a matter of looking in the right place at the right time. In April 2012, the right place is east before dawn – and the right time is now.
If you’re looking for the moon, you’ll need get up early or stay up late.
A meteorite designated Northwest Africa 7325 has a highly unusual chemistry similar to that measured by NASA’s Mercury Messenger probe.
How to see the constellation Aries the Ram. A word about this constellation in the history of astronomy, and in mythology.
Follow the arc to Arcturus and drive a spike to Spica to find these springtime stars – and also, in 2013, the planet Saturn, now almost brightest for the year.
You can use the bright orange star Arcturus – and a phrase known to scouts and skywatchers – to lead you to the famous planet Saturn.
John Burroughs was one of the first naturalists who focused on communicating his love of nature through the written word.
If you haven’t caught Comet PANSTARRS yet, try in early April 2013! PANSTARRS photos and viewing guide here.
The two outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper always point to Polaris, which marks the end of the Little Dipper’s handle.
After the sun sets, you can see the dazzling planet Jupiter – and then, after dusk, the elusive zodiacal light.
The International Astronomical Union’s decision to demote Pluto from full planet status was unpopular. Will these astronomers change the way they do things?
April’s birthstone, the diamond, is a symbol of enduring love.
Even if you couldn’t spot Comet PANSTARRS before, you might spot it tonight – or soon – because it’s in a darker sky and near the Andromeda Galaxy.
The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon. No matter where you are on Earth, springtime or autumn is the best time to see it.
A new analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggests that Saturn’s moons and rings came into being around the time of our solar system’s birth.
Be nice to yourself and look at these amazing photographs of the March 26, 2013 full moon by our obviously talented EarthSky Facebook friends.
Whether you’ve managed to glimpse the comet or not, you’ll love this video showing PANSTARRS as seen from space. Bright dot on the right is Earth!
Earth and other planets in our solar system have their own names. Does the sun have a name?
The August 20-21, 2013 full moon will be called a Blue Moon. Wasn’t there a blue moon just last year? Learn why Blue Moons aren’t so rare anymore.
Last night’s moon – March 23, 2013 – waxing toward full. In the coming days, you’ll find a large waxing moon in daylight in late afternoon, or shining brightly at night.
People from North Carolina to Maine, and as far inland as Ohio, saw a very bright meteor streak across the sky on March 22.
Many beginning stargazers start out using a planisphere. Here’s why you need one, top tips for using it, and a place to order one. Have fun!
The U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee met in a hearing on March 19, 2013 to discuss threats from space.
How to see the constellation Pisces. Plus sky lore and science.
As expected, the March 15 coronal mass ejection or CME from the sun caused auroras, or northern lights, at high and mid latitudes.
A beautiful image of last night’s moon and planet Jupiter from EarthSky Facebook friend VegaStar Carpentier in Paris.
A rundown of space objects visible under the right conditions to the unaided human eye during the day.
March 2013 offers the best chance for the next 12 years to see Jupiter near the moon in a blue daytime sky.
The March 15 CME will reach Earth in one to two days. High latitude and even middle latitude auroras possible this weekend.
In this sped-up video from Fred Espanek – aka Mr. Eclipse – Comet PANSTARRS and a young moon set in the west behind some Arizona mountains.
Your photos – the best photos – the most recent photos – of this wonderful comet, now visiting the March 2013 skies as seen throughout the world.
Many saw the comet near the moon on the evening of March 12. Did you look for it and not see it? Try these tips for spotting Comet PANSTARRS.
On March 11, Earth passed in front of the sun as seen from the orbiting observatory. Then the moon passed in front of the sun, later that same day. Cool photos here.
Now it’s the Northern Hemisphere’s turn to see Comet PANSTARRS. The comet will be near the moon March 12 and 13. Look west immediately after sunset.
Take 2.5 minutes to watch this animation shows the phases of the moon, captured hourly, throughout the course of one whole year
Researches report that the severe loss of summertime Arctic sea ice appears to enhance Northern Hemisphere jet stream meandering, intensify Arctic air mass invasions toward middle latitudes, and increase the frequency of atmospheric blocking events.
Astronomers have found a new way to gather data about the vast liquid ocean below the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.
A distant world gleaming in sunlight, Earth’s twin planet, Venus, shines like a bright beacon in images taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn.
March has two birthstones – the aquamarine and the bloodstone.
During a total lunar eclipse, Earth’s shadow on the moon often looks red. Why?
A beautifully composed photo from a friend in south Georgia.
Image of Mona Lisa becomes first-ever laser communication at planetary distance.
If you ever heard that a full moon means you can’t see the northern lights, here’s awesome proof to the contrary.
The February 25, 2013 full moon over the Bothnian Sea between Finland and Sweden.
The extra large size of a moon seen low in the sky is an illusion, a trick your brain is playing.
For both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the full moons have names corresponding to the calendar months or the seasons of the year.
You know it when you see it, but what makes a full moon full?
The full moon is February 25, 2013 as seen from much of the world. But the moon looks full for a day or so on either side of full.
The best time to see Saturn for 2013 is coming. Learn to identify it this week. Song of the week is Devon Sproule’s “The Unmarked Animals.”
Video by C.G.P. Grey does a good job explaining why, in 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to dwarf planet status.
NASA’s Kepler mission scientists have discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star similar to our sun.
The Winter Circle paints a great big circle of brilliant stars on the dark dome of a winter night.
A cool layer in the atmosphere of Alpha Centauri A has been detected, the first time this has been seen in a star beyond our own Sun.
In this sequence of images from February 17, 2013, you can notice the line of sunrise moving on the moon’s face. It’s subtle …
Artist’s impression of 50,000 Quaoar, a small rocky world with its own moon, a billion kilometers beyond Pluto.
Video of February 15 flyby of 2012 DA14, as it passed inside the moon’s orbit last Friday. This one is beautiful in its simplicity.
Two stars noticeable for being bright and close together might be Castor and Pollux of the Gemini Twins constellation.
The star Aldebaran, Jupiter, and the first-quarter moon formed a triangle in Sunday night’s sky, as captured by Duke Marsh in Albany, Indiana.
The asteroid appeared from Earth to be moving quickly in front of the stars as it passed safely within the moon’s distance from Earth on Friday, February 15.
Sun pillars, or light pillars, are shafts of light extending from the sun or other bright light source. They’re caused by ice crystals drifting in Earth’s air.
Lots going on this week. Asteroid flyby. Meteor explodes over Russia. Jupiter and moon. Song of the week is Phosphorescent’s “Song for Zula.” Your 22 minutes of science and music here.
Objects within 0.3 AU of the Earth – or within about a third of Earth’s distance fromt the sun – in mid-February 2013. From Armagh Observatory.
You can see the asteroid flyby, if you have a computer and can watch online. Otherwise … you must be in the right place on Earth. And, still, it’ll be tough.
Scientists are making plans to send the spacecraft on a route farther from Pluto, if needed, to avoid running the craft through “a dangerous gauntlet of debris.”
This image shows the bright star cluster NGC 6520 and its neighbor, the strange gecko-shaped dark cloud Barnard 86. This cosmic pair is set against millions of glowing stars from the brightest part of the Milky Way.
A mosaic of the moon’s north pole composed of nearly 1,000 images taken over a one-month period during the moon’s northern summer.
In general, it’s really tough to spot a moon less than about 20 hours old – 20 hours after the moon passed more or less between the Earth and sun.
The discoverers of Pluto’s two tiniest moons are inviting the public to help select names for the new moons.
The next meteor shower is the Lyrid shower, peaking on the morning of April 22, 2013.
From southerly latitudes, you’ll easily find Canopus on February evenings. Look southward below brilliant Sirius. Canopus is our second-brightest star.
In this 2011 video by Alex Cherney, watch the Milky Way unfurl itself over the Southern Ocean coast of Australia.
This year’s Chinese New Year celebration has begun, ushering in the Year of the Snake. Gong Xi Fa Ca, y’all!
Today’s image: ‘Los Angeles 2-8-13′ by EarthSky Facebook friend Peter Rodney Breaux. It’s gorgeous.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the Great Meteor Procession, in which bright meteors were seen to cross the sky on stately, nearly identical paths.
The main ring around the sun is called a 22-degree halo. The bright points of light on either side of the sun are called sundogs.
Ecologists propose managing strategies to protect the Antarctic where there is a genuine waste problem.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 – an object about half the length of a football field – will pass Earth on February 15, 2013. Watch NASA videos about this event.
Using publicly available data, astronomers have found that six percent of red dwarf stars have habitable, Earth-sized planets.
This video, from the Kurdistan Planetarium in the U.K., shows the sun rising as seen from the moon’s surface and setting two weeks later.
February’s birthstone, the amethyst, was the stone of royalty, representing power.
Today’s image of a waning moon and its halo as seen through the branches of a willow tree comes from EarthSky Facebook friend Michael Flood.
The most beautiful video you’ll see today. Real time video of silhouettes in front of the rising moon.
A video showing the evolution of our present night sky as our galaxy and neighboring Andromeda collide and ultimately merge.
I saw the moon in a blue sky. Why? How can this happen? I thought the moon was visible only at night!
Time-sequence video showing a lunar halo form. The moon with its halo appears to drift as Earth turns beneath the sky. From our friends at Bareket Observatory.
Beautiful astronaut video from aboard the International Space Station, showing day and night on Earth, as ISS passes between the two twice.
Elnath is the second-brightest star in Taurus the Bull. It’s the closest bright star to the galactic anticenter – the point in space that lies directly opposite of the center of our Milky Way galaxy.
Beautiful photos of January 2013 full moon, as captured by EarthSky Facebook friends. Thank you all.
Scientists have discovered that African dung beetles can use the Milky Way to help them navigate at night.
This week, Mike talks with a scientist with a revised theory about some dinosaur tracks, Deborah talks full moon, and there’s new music from Phosphorescent. Enjoy!
The best moon and Jupiter photos from late last year, plus the wonderful sight of these two brilliant worlds on January 21, 2013. Wow!
Mars has two moons, Jupiter has 66, Saturn 62, Uranus 27, Neptune 13. But our planet Earth has just one moon. Doesn’t it?
Song of the week is Monahan’s “Diamonds.” ES weather blogger Matt Daniel interviews head of National Hurricane Center. Your 22 minutes of science and music!
SG Collins explains why the the Apollo moon landings on the moon in the late 1960s and early ’70s could not have been faked.
Alien visitation? No. Lunar X is an example of how lighting and topography can combine to produce a pattern that seems familiar to the human eye.
A new view of a 20,000-year old supernova remnant provides more clues to the history of this giant cloud that resembles a beloved endangered species, the Florida Manatee.
Members of Cassini spacecraft radar team have made the first quantitative estimate of how much the weather on Titan has modified its surface.
A tool for astronomy lovers that allows to know the general and local circumstances for solar and lunar eclipses and planetary transits.
The new South Pole marker has been moved to its correct location for 2013. A new plaque on top honors Neil Armstrong and the dwarf planet Pluto.
This final, breathtaking footage from the successful GRAIL moon mission was taken just six miles (10 kilometers) above the moon’s surface on December 14, 2012.
This new infrared image shows the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, which contains millions of stars, in striking detail.
Over its lifetime of about 25 years, an Arctic Tern can fly a million kilometers – nearly three times the distance from the Earth to the moon.
Volunteers from the Planethunters.org website have discovered 15 new planet candidates orbiting in the habitable zones of other stars.
There are several good times to think about and be aware of Earth’s shadow.
Age of Aquarius begins when vernal equinox point moves out of constellation Pisces and into Aquarius. There’s no definitive answer as to when that will be.
On January 2, 1959, trailing orange sodium gas, the Luna 1 spacecraft broke free of Earth’s gravity to head towards the moon.
January’s birthstone, the garnet, symbolizes a light heart, loyalty and enduring affections.
The next leap day will be February 29, 2016. Why do we need an extra day added to the calendar every four years?
Earth at perihelion and the Quadrantid meteors. Song of the week: Twin Cabins’ “Swing Lynn.” Your 22 minutes of science and music!
The narrow peak of the 2013 Quadrantid meteor shower is likely January 3 – but it might be as late as January 4, if you’re in Asia.
Two most expensive 2012 U.S. weather disasters have been ongoing drought ($40 billion in damages so far) and Superstorm Sandy ($62 billion so far).
Here’s a satellite image of the United States at night.
Your 22 minutes of science and music from EarthSky’s hometown of Austin, Texas. Enjoy!
An asteroid you might not have known to worry about has been given the all-clear.
Today is the December solstice. Longest night in Northern Hemisphere. Longest Day in Southern Hemisphere. Celebration time!
On December 19, 1972, the Apollo 17 crew returned to Earth, completing the final manned moon mission. Their cargo included orange soil they unexpectedly found on the moon.
The two GRAIL spacecraft hit the lunar surface at planned at 4:28 CST (2228 UTC) and 4:29 CST, at a speed of 3,760 mph (1.7 kilometers per second).
Doomsday? …. Nah! December solstice … Yes! Plus great music from The Shins and more. Press play!
It is indeed possible to see the whole circle of a rainbow – but conditions have to be just right.
The peak of the Geminid meteor shower is past – but only barely. If you watch late tonight or in the wee hours tomorrow, you should still see some meteors.
Here are images, videos and info from the sweep past Earth of this 3-mile-wide (5-km-wide) space rock.
Titan’s Nile is no dry riverbed. It appears to be filled with liquid, presumably ethane mixed with methane.
Venus is very bright. That’s partly because sunlight is easily reflected by acidic clouds that blanket the planet’s atmosphere.
The December Geminid meteor shower radiates from the constellation Gemini — in the east in mid-evening or overhead by about 2 a.m.
Astronomers discovered the asteroid yesterday. It might enter Earth’s shadow in the next few hours and pass slightly more than half the moon’s distance a few hours after that.
Storms on the sun can release charged particles that can travel up to several million miles per hour and sometimes strikes Earth. Is this dangerous?
The video was created with data from from the Clementine moon mission of 1990s, plus measurements from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, orbiting now.
Here are 10 tips for watching the 2012 Geminid meteor shower, peaking on the nights of December 13 and 14.
Where there’s water there’s life, even beneath 60 feet of Antarctic ice in permanent darkness and subzero temperatures.
No one has sent us a photo of planets above pyramids yet, but we hope someone will! Meanwhile, enjoy our friends’ photos of the December 3 planets, which were seen from around the world.
Who would have imagined we’d be able to watch the seasons change in the atmosphere of Saturn’s large moon Titan? The Cassini spacecraft makes it possible.
Jupiter opposition, a false image of planets and the pyramids on December 3 2012, and a great song by The Eastern Sea. Science and music from Austin, TX. Enjoy!
December has two birthstones, turquoise and zircon.
Jupiter is always closest around the time of its yearly opposition, which comes on December 2-3, 2012. Jupiter will remain close and bright throughout December and January 2013.
In late November, with Jupiter a week away from being closest to Earth for 2012, full moon swept past Jupiter. Enjoy the photos from EarthSky Facebook friends.
Check out the subtle beauty of a penumbral eclipse, in these photos from EarthSky Facebook friends.
Sometimes the planets appear to change direction in the sky. This retrograde motion is entirely an illusion caused by the Earth passing the slower moving outer planets.
Hear about the Snowball Earth theory, the upcoming penumbral eclipse, and of course, hear great music, like the Heartless Bastards’ “Gotta Have Rock n Roll” – on this week’s EarthSky 22!
Mars is a beaten and battered planet, according to a research team that recently finished counting and cataloging a staggering 635,000 Martian impact craters.
The ecliptic marks the path of the sun. It’s the projection of Earth’s orbit onto the sky. And it’s an essential part of any stargazer’s vocabulary.
ESA would like you to send them your images to feature as the Space Science Image of the Week on 31 December.
Time to look is between 12:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. EST on November 20. That’s 5:30 to 8 UTC on November 20. Link for watching online in this post.
The famous Leonid meteor shower is nearing its annual peak. Here’s all you need to know to watch the 2012 Leonid shower.
Need a web cam for the November 13-14, 2012 total solar eclipse? Check out these links to online viewing.
Research suggests the total solar eclipse of August, 1142 coincided with the birth of the Iroquois (Five Nations) Confederacy, near modern-day Victor, New York.
A new super-Earth planet that may have an Earth-like climate and be just right to support life has been discovered around a nearby star.
At a distance of 2.3 million light-years, the Andromeda galaxy (Messier 31) is the closest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way. It’s the most distant thing you can see with your eye alone.
On some moonless night, look for the Orion Nebula below Orion’s Belt. Your eye sees it as a tiny, hazy spot. But it’s a vast region of star formation.
On both sides of Superstorm Sandy last week, many saw moon halos. Song of the week is The Boxing Lesson’s “Better Daze.” Check out their new video. Science and music here.
The Zodiac is defined by 12 constellations that lie along the annual path of the sun across the sky.
Did you see a ring around the moon last night (October 29)? It’s called a lunar halo. The bright object near the moon was Jupiter. Also in this post … lunar standstills.
You might have heard that Hurricane Sandy’s effect will be worsened by the fact that the moon is full. That’s true. This post explains why.
Meteorologist Brad Panovich from Charlotte, North Carolina tweeted: “It’s not hype, not an over reaction… this is the worst storm in our lifetimes.” Stay safe, and listen to local authorities.
Hunter’s Moon gallery photos from all around the world posted by EarthSky’s Facebook friends.
Tonight’s Hunter’s moon, and a star to look for on Halloween … and listen to Danny Malone’s new song “Spiderlegs.” Science and music … together at last!
The tide almanacs recommended here are based on astronomical influences on the tides. They can help you know when to expect high and low tides.
The track and intensity of Hurricane Sandy is uncertain. But one thing is certain: Sandy is a dangerous storm that the U.S. east coast should monitor closely.
From prison wine to bathtub gin, illicit home-brews can be a risky business.
Here’s all you need to know to see the legendary green flash.
Here’s a collection of 10 unexpected, intriguing facts about the stars of our universe – including our sun – you probably didn’t know!
Moths – and many other flying insects – are probably more disoriented by a close light source than they are attracted to it.
Planetary scientist says his group has discovered evidence that the moon was born in a flaming blaze of glory when a body the size of Mars collided with the early Earth.
Researchers suggest the bright lights of cities, which are visible on a planet even from space, might reveal the existence of alien life on other planets.
Yay, several of you did take our challenge and spot the October 14, 2012 very old moon! Thank you, Peter Rodney Breaux, Lakshmi Ravishankar and Julie Gartman!
You will have to be outdoors very early in the morning – within an hour of sunup. You’ll need a clear sky in the east, with no trees or tall buildings in the way.
The Weather Channel will begin to name significant winter storms that will impact large areas for the 2012-2013 winter season. See their list.
Deep in cracks of hot undersea volcanoes, microbes inhale hydrogen and carbon dioxide and exhale methane. They might help scientists understand life beyond Earth.
Shortly after posting my last blog, I was abducted by aliens who flew me to Thermoman’s home planet of Ultron where I was taught secrets of the universe.
The constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer is best seen in the evening sky during a Northern Hemisphere autumn or Southern Hemisphere spring.
Why does the moon seem to change its shape every night? Remember that the moon is a world in space – with a day side and a night side.
On September 27, 2012, Spanish engineers presenting to the European Planetary Science Congress in Madrid proposed to send a boat to Titan.
A gallery of some of our favorite pictures of the 2012 Harvest Moon from our EarthSky Facebook friends.
The Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival features the beautiful idea that we all see the same moon.
Deborah and Jorge talk about how to see Jupiter. Song of the week is My Jerusalem’s “Preachers.” Your 22 minutes of science and music!
EarthSky friends from around the world shared their pictures of the Harvest Moon.
Scientists are for the first time imaging the base of a massive jet of electrons and sub-atomic particles extending from the black hole at a galaxy’s center.
Satellite images show wildfires burning across the U.S. west in September, 2012. This wildfire season will likely break the U.S. record for most acres burned.
Nibiru, sometimes called Planet X, is not going to collide with our planet this year – or ever – because it doesn’t exist.
Peering deeper into the universe than ever before, the eXtreme Deep Field was assembled using 10 years of Hubble Space Telescope observations.
Harvest Moon is closest full moon to September equinox. Plus the best in science news and great new music from Austin, Texas!
The Mars rover Spirit captured this image on March 8, 2004. It was the first image of our world taken from another planet beyond our Earth-moon system.
Planet Nibiru … the myth, the hype, and the truth. Plus science news and great music!
Not keen on being buried 6 feet under in a fancy casket? Don’t worry, you have plenty of options.
If you look up in a tree, you might see a spider web that spans a distance of a meter – several feet – or more. How do they do that?
It’s an eerie light extending up from the horizon. In autumn, you’re most likely to see it about an hour before true dawn begins.
Jorge Salazar talks with lead scientist Ed Stone about the amazing Voyager spacecraft. Song of the week by the Sour Notes.
“We’ve got the black holes cornered,” said the lead scientist Daniel Stern. “WISE is finding them across the full sky … “
Daytime moon. Plus song of the week from the Marmalakes’ Septimus Warren Smith. Catch them out on tour now!
People all around the world marveled at August’s second full moon, or Blue Moon.
The Kepler mission has discovered Kepler-47b and 47c, the first transiting circumbinary system — multiple planets orbiting two suns.
Music and science – the perfect combo. Listen to this weeks science stories and great new music from EarthSky’s hometown, Austin, TX.
Illustration of how moon moved in contrast to triangle of objects in west after sunset – Mars, Saturn and star Spica – on August 21, 2012 as seen from around the world.
The apogalacticon marks where the sun is farthest from the heart of the Milky Way on its 250 million year orbit around the galactic center.
A waning crescent moon is sometimes called an old moon. It’s seen in the east before dawn.
Here’s a collection of 10 unexpected and intriguing facts about our solar system – our sun and its family of planets – you probably did not know!
The best time to see meteors and the planets Venus and Jupiter this week. Plus more science news, and – of course – music!
Saturn’s moon Titan – with its impenetrable methane atmosphere – is the only place in the solar system, other than Earth, with large bodies of liquid on its surface.
Russian scientists have penetrated miles of Antarctic ice to analyze waters for alien-like life. EarthSky spoke with oceanographer Chuck Kennicutt.
Born between November 29 and December 18? The sun may pass in front of the constellation Ophiuchus the Serpent Holder on your birthday.
Fans of Pluto celebrated the discovery of its fifth moon in July of 2012. Astronomer Alan Stern was on the discovery team that found Pluto’s new moon.
Your 22 minutes of science news from around the world, and new music from Austin, Texas.
A first quarter moon rises at noon and is high overhead at sunset. It sets around midnight.
When you see the moon as a slim crescent – in the west after sunset – it’s a waxing moon. Is that Earth’s shadow on the moon? No, it’s the moon’s own shadow.
Cassini spacecraft observation of “tides” in the solid surface of Titan suggest that this large moon of the planet Saturn has an ocean below ground.
There’s nothing to fear from 2002 AM31. It’ll pass within 14 times the moon’s distance from Earth. But you might enjoy watching it sweep past!
Earth won’t physically cross the plane of our Milky Way galaxy in 2012. But Earth does cross the galactic equator in 2012. That’s something we do every year – twice.
Venus and Jupiter – the two brightest planets – are near each other before dawn in July and early August of 2012.
A powerful X-flare on the sun on July 12 was aimed directly toward Earth. Its effects arrived July 14. Aurora alert!
People around the world are buzzing about planets and moon in predawn sky. More in this week’s EarthSky 22. Song of the week Burgess Meredith’s The Big Deal.
The entire northern sky wheels around Polaris. Some assume it’s the brightest star in the sky. In fact, Polaris ranks only 50th in brightness.
Earth’s north star – Polaris – is located nearly directly above Earth’s north pole. There’s a star above Mars’ north pole, too, but it’s very faint.
The swirling mass appears to execute one full rotation in about nine hours – much faster than Titan’s 16-day rotation period.
A last quarter moon looks half-illuminated. It rises around midnight, appears at its highest in the sky at dawn, and sets around noon.
The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is about as bright as a 100-Watt incandescent light bulb viewed from a distance of more than 5 miles.
If you were looking with the eye alone, how far away in space would our planet Earth still be visible?
The possible Higgs boson. Liquid oceans on Saturn’s moon. Song of the week My Education’s ROBOTER-HôHLENBEWOHNER from A Drink for All My Friends.
In the few days after full moon, you’ll often see a waning gibbous moon in the west in early morning, floating against the pale blue sky.
Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or VLBI, links together widely separated radio telescopes to allow astronomers to see the universe in more detail than ever.
Planetary scientist Luciano Iess is a professor of aerospace engineering at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. Dr. Iess lists over 50 peer-reviewed publications to his credit. He is a radio science team member of the Cassini space mission, an ongoing mission whose main objective is to study the planet Saturn and its moons Titan and…read more »
The constellation Scorpius is easy to find. It looks like its namesake. And the fishhook-shaped Tail of the Scorpion lets you fish for galactic treasures.
A waxing gibbous moon appears high in the east at sunset. It’s more than half-lighted, but less than full.
The June 30, 2012 leap second is the 35th leap second to be added and the first since 2008. Not everyone agrees we need one. Here’s why some think we do.
World timekeepers will add a leap second on June 30, 2012. At the same time, they are debating whether we should add leap seconds at all.
The debate was whether Saturn’s own internal heat – or energy from the sun – drives Saturn’s jet streams.
Somebody had fun putting this together. It’s an imaginary planetrise from a hypothetical city (really, Seattle) on faraway planet Kepler-36c.
When the two worlds are closest, say the astronomers, the co-orbiting gas giant planet Kepler-36c would span three times more sky than a full moon does from Earth.
Inside Mars, the amount of water may be vastly greater than previous estimates. Mars’ interior might have as much as – or more – water than Earth.
Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra the Harp. That’s why it’s often called the Harp Star.
Here are some simple tips for creating a link between yourself and the night sky.
Three beautiful photos of moon and Jupiter on this Sunday morning. By Monday morning – June 18 – moon will be farther below Jupiter.
Summer talk. Song of week Sleep Good’s “Summer Explosion.” And we interview Paul R. Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, on eve of Rio+20. Yay summer!
Links and information to online viewing of close-passing asteroid 2012 LZ1. This evening for U.S. Tomorrow morning (June 15) for Asia.
COLLEGE STATION, June 13, 2012 – Ford had his auto, Winchester his rifle, Boeing loved his jets. Tom Iliffe will gladly settle for his cave crustaceans.
If you could stand on the surface of the moon during a total lunar eclipse, you’d be bathed in an eerie red glow. What else would you see?
Interview with author on language and music. Science of silence. Predawn beauties. Song of the week Shakey Graves’ Roll the Bones. All on your EarthSky 22.
Newfound galaxy secures spot among top 10 most distant known objects in space. Astronomers at Arizona State University have found an exceptionally distant galaxy, ranked among the top 10 most distant objects currently known in space. Light from the recently detected galaxy left the object about 800 million years after the beginning of the universe, when the universe was in its infancy.
June has three traditional birthstones – pearl, moonstone, and Alexandrite.
One of the coolest things about the planet Saturn is its moon Enceladus. This moon is known to expel water and rain it down onto its parent world.
Henry Rollins on his new program at National Geographic Wild. Song of the week Heartless Bastards’ “Only for You.”
Asteroid Vesta has revealed itself as colorful, diverse – and even older than Earth – in the first-ever orbit of an asteroid by a space probe.
Thank you to everyone in EarthSky’s Facebook community for sharing these amazing eclipse photos from May 20-21, 2012.
The solar eclipse of May 20-21, 2012 is part of a cycle – called the Saros cycle – that repeats about every 18 years and 10 days.
This photo shows fine detail in the sun’s surface, surrounding the moon silhouette, during an annular or ring eclipse in 2010.
Want to see the solar eclipse on May 20, 2012? National parks in the United States are gearing up for the event.
Annular eclipse on Sunday! Here’s the story ….
Several months before the Titanic’s fateful encounter with an iceberg, the moon had been closer to Earth than in 1,400 years, and it was full just six minutes before.
Thuban was the Pole Star some 5,000 years ago, when the Egyptians were building the pyramids.
Seeing Venus near star Elnath. Previewing May 20-21 annular eclipse! Song of Week “Don Alejo” from The Echocentrics by Grammy Award winner Adrian Quesada.
Sand dunes on Mars shift and move at about the same rate as earthly dunes. Yet Mars atmosphere is thin, and its winds are weak.
In this image of globular cluster Messier 55, tens of thousands of stars are crowded together like a swarm of bees.
The James Webb Space Telescope, aka Hubble 2.0, now has its first instrument. The instrument took 10 years and 200 scientists to build.
The Hubble telescope will use the moon as a mirror to observe the transit of Venus on June 5-6, 2012.
Supermoon … really? Deborah Byrd’s supermoon straight talk …plus the world’s oldest human blood … and a great song by the Black Angels.
This year, there will be a big full moon shining over your Cinco de Mayo party. In fact, it’s a full moon that’s getting tagged as a ‘supermoon.’
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will fly within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of Saturn’s moon Enceladus on May 2,2012. Yay! More images of this moon’s mysterious jets!
Three planets light up the sky as soon as darkness falls on these May 2012 nights. This post tells you how to spot them.
Jorge and sociobiologist Rebecca Costa talk about a hopeful future for humanity. Song of the week Burgess Meredith’s Me As In You from their new Banana Moon EP.
Venus is at its brightest in late April and early May 2012. It’s so bright it might surprise you. Some will report it as a UFO. But why so bright?
Rocks in Australia contain sand-sized circles and particles, thought to be formerly molten droplets ejected into space when asteroids struck Earth.
Scientists have discovered strange objects punching through parts of Saturn’s outermost ring – the F ring – leaving glittering trails behind. Watch a video …
Deborah Byrd talks about Lyrid meteor shower, peaking April 21-22. Song of the week Jesse Wood’s Neon Rose from his Moon Rocks EP.
Jellyfish are increasing in the majority of the world’s coastal ecosystems, according to a new study.
Ten oddities and misconceptions about space that you may — or may not — have heard before.
Students participating in the MoonKAM project used NASA’s GRAIL spacecraft to capture this wonderful image of Earth as seen from the moon’s far side.
Spica is a binary star, with two stars larger and hotter than the sun, telescopically indistinguishable from a single point of light.
A new observatory still under construction has given astronomers a major breakthrough in understanding a nearby planetary system that can provide valuable clues about how such systems form and evolve. The scientists used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to discover that planets orbiting the star Fomalhaut must be much smaller than originally thought.
When we look toward a horizon, we’re looking through more atmosphere than when we look overhead. That’s why you see red sunsets.
Solar eclipses don’t just turn the lights out – they also make the wind slow down and change direction.
The Pleiades or Seven Sisters enjoys worldwide renown for timekeeping, celebration and storytelling.
Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, is known to spin rapidly on its axis. If it spun only slightly more rapidly, the star would fly apart.
Jorge talks to an expert about extreme weather events. Song of the week is All in Love by Monahans. Plus more on your 22 minutes of science and music.
Comets bombarding Earth billions of years ago carried and deposited the key ingredients for life to spring up on our planet, according to new research.
“It sounds crazy but it could be snowing microbes on the surface of this little world,” a space scientist said of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Astronomers used a supercomputer to simulate the passage of 10 million asteroids past Earth, resulting in the insight that Earth frequently has multiple moons.
A new chemical analysis of lunar material collected by Apollo astronauts in the 1970s conflicts with the widely held theory that a giant collision between Earth and a Mars-sized object gave birth to the moon 4.5 billion years ago.
Did the Maya predict the end of the world in 2012? Jorge interviews an expert, who has the answer. Song of the week is Half Asleep by Final Exam.
Scientists have discovered evidence of underground lakes as big as the Great Lakes on Earth inside of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The icy moon might support life.
Currently supernova SN 2012aw is shining with the light of 500 million suns and will most likely get much brighter.
The MESSENGER spacecraft completed its one-year primary mission in orbit around the planet Mercury on March 17, 2012. New findings released today.
The months of March, April and May 2012 are the best times to see Mars between now and 2014!
Looking for constellation Cancer? 2012 is your year to find it easily.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been orbiting the moon for 1,000 days. Celebrate by watching two new eye-popping videos.
On the day of new moon, the moon rises when the sun rises. It sets when the sun sets. It crosses the sky with the sun during the day.
What are the Ides of March? We in modern times probably wouldn’t know, if it weren’t for William Shakespeare.
COLLEGE STATION, March 6, 2012 — A decade ago, Houston businessman and philanthropist George P. Mitchell was so certain there were big discoveries to be made in physics and astronomy and that they should come out of Texas A&M University, he put money on it, endowing the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy to bring the world’s most eminent minds in physics and astronomy to Aggieland.
Everything you need to know – whether you’re in Earth’s eastern or western hemisphere – about the May 20 or 21 annular eclipse of the sun.
Venus and Jupiter are spectacular in March 2012. They’ll be closest in mid-March – and near the moon by the month’s end.
Sirius – in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog – is the sky’s brightest star. It’s very easy to spot on winter and spring evenings.
This week … a rockin’ alignment of brightest planets Venus and Jupiter with the moon. Song of the week from Jesse Woods: Sparks off his LP Moon Rocks.
Here is a collection of 10 often unknown or misunderstood facts about our solar system – our sun and its family of planets.
New evidence from meteorites supports the ongoing speculation that life on Earth might have been seeded from space.
Texas’ Big Bend National Park has been designated as an International Dark Sky Park, one of just 10 in the world.
The best time to see Mars for this two-year period is here! Check out this beautiful photo.
Not necessarily, according to a study in the February 2012 issue of BioScience.
February, March, April and May are great months for seeing the constellation Gemini the Twins in the evening sky.
Glimpses of the early universe with a revolutionary new radio telescope in Europe. Snowy owls in lower 48. Volcanoes and Little Ice Age. Song of the Week by The Lovely Sparrow. EarthSky 22!
Someday, the star Betelgeuse will run out of fuel, collapse under its own weight, and then rebound in a spectacular supernova explosion. Someday … but probably not soon.
Twin spacecraft – named Ebb and Flow, part of NASA’s GRAIL mission – are orbiting the moon. Ebb has captured a video of the moon’s far side.
Thanks to the Kepler satellite, we now know of three planets orbiting in double star systems.
Asteroid 433 Eros passed closer to Earth on January 31, 2012 than it had since 1975.
Scientists using radar to peer through Titan’s dense clouds see vast fields of sand dunes, not unlike those on Earth. See the newest images.
NASA has a new Blue Marble image of Earth, released January 25, 2012. See it, plus the original, in this post.
The sun and moon appear the same size in Earth’s sky because the sun’s diameter is about 400 times greater – but the sun is also about 400 times farther away.
The Hinode satellite, which has been orbiting Earth since 2006, has captured some amazing eclipse images. This one is particularly striking.
There are going to be some spectacular pairings of Venus and the moon in early 2012. Here are fav pics from last month, taken by EarthSky Facebook friends.
Observers at high latitudes reported “incredible” displays of the northern lights during the night of January 24, 2012.
Earth’s forests from space. Plus the planets Jupiter and Venus near the waxing crescent moon in the week ahead. On your 22 minutes of science and music.
This photograph, taken January 4, 2012 from Houston, Texas, juxtaposes Earth’s oldest satellite, the moon, with one of its newest, the International Space Station.
Fourth graders from Bozeman, Montana are the winners of a NASA student contest to name the twin moon-orbiting GRAIL spacecraft.
Astronomers found a ring system in a distant solar system when the rings blocked the light of that distant sun, and caused a temporary dimming of its light.
Earthlike moons might exist in the habitable zones around double star systems, according to astronomers from the University of Texas at Arlington.
These astronomers say this is the first direct glimpse at dark matter on large scales showing the cosmic web in all directions.
If extra-terrestials visited the moon, they may have left tell-tale signs. It’s worth a look, says a leading scientist, and won’t cost much.
Gavin Schmidt of the blog RealClimate answers two questions. Is climate change real? Are we causing it? On your 22 minutes of science and music.
EarthSky space blogger Laura Dattaro picks her top 5 most exciting things to look forward to in space science in 2012.
Saturn’s moon Titan has an impenetrable methane atmosphere. Scientists explain mysteries of the “methane cycle” on Titan – a cousin to Earth’s water cycle.
The Orion crew capsule test conjures up memories of Apollo astronauts splashing down in the oceans in the ’60s and ’70s.
With 18,000 friends on Facebook for EarthSky en Espanol and 52,000 friends on our English-language Facebook page … the party is just starting.
The GRAIL mission will study the moon’s gravitational field via minute differences in the distance between the two craft as they orbit above the moon’s surface.
Scientists believe the fireball seen New Year’s Eve 2011 came from the asteroid belt. It disintegrated 82 km (51 miles) above Earth’s surface.
GRAIL-A and B will use the moon’s own gravity to study the lunar interior. They’ll enter orbit New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
In the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar, if your birthday is on a Monday, it’s always on a Monday. Plus, these researchers want to abolish time zones.
Don’t stop recycling just yet, but if the technology were more developed, your Christmas waste could become biofuel to power motor vehicles.
In the U.S. Eastern Standard Time – or farther west – you’ll see this same scene in the west after sunset tonight!
As it swept near the sun in early December 2011, Lovejoy’s dust tail was completely severed, and afterwards gently floated towards the sun while its head raced on without it.
Search for Comet Garradd before dawn and in the eastern sky, starting around the December solstice. Look for it with binoculars near the star Lambda Herculis in the constellation Hercules.
What the Mayans were really saying – plus December solstice 2011 – on your 22 minutes of science and music.
Leon Lederman – Nobel laureate in physics – describes a hypothetical particle that might one day help explain the structure of the universe.
Is there life beneath the ice on Jupiter’s moon Europa? What about on the newly discovered planet Kepler 22b? EarthSky 22 explores!
It was tough to choose from so many wonderful lunar eclipse pics, posted by EarthSky Facebook friends. Here are some of the best.
If you ever get a chance to watch a total eclipse of the moon, you should do it! Here’s how to watch.
The moon appears to wobble as we watch a visualization of a whole year of orbits compressed into 2.5 minutes.
See below for a list of links to fun and useful facts about Earth’s companion world.
In this beautiful image, Saturn itself is in the background. The moon Rhea is in silhouette. The dark lines are the shadow of Saturn’s rings.
Host Jorge Salazar speaks with Martin Perna about the music he creates with Ocote Soul Sounds, how science and music intersect, and the band’s upcoming tour.
Orbiting spacecraft have now seen avalanches of dust on the surface of the planet Mars.
EarthSky friends shared their photos of the planet Venus and young moon, together in the sky in late November 2011.
A new report from the American Geophysical Union calls for the need for more data, to understand declining oxygen levels in Earth’s oceans.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor. It’s scheduled to launch in 2018.
Scientist reveals secrets of DNA – double helix that makes us who we are. Song of the week by Mother Falcon. Your 22 minutes of science and music.
MIT researchers suggest the Great Dying lasted only 20,000 years and coincided with increased CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere, comparable to today’s levels.
This new map of the moon is the highest resolution topographic lunar map ever created.
Featured this week, lifelike robots – plus lakes on Jupiter’s moon and an eclipse of the midnight sun. Song of the week from Ocote Soul Sound.
We knew there was wind on Mars. We knew there was sand. Now we know the Martian winds are strong enough to move the sand in many parts of Mars.
Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and John Glenn have become the first astronauts in history to win Congressional Gold Medals.
Earth might have been spared from a collision with Mars or Venus by the process in which a fifth giant world was ejected from our solar system.
Bookmark this page to see the latest images of asteroid 2005 YU55, which passed 200,000 miles (319,000 kilometers) from Earth on November 8, 2011.
Using mathematics, researchers conclude that we cannot rule out the possibility of extraterrestrial artifacts in our solar system.
When at its closest on November 8 and 9, asteroid 2005 YU55 will look like a steadily moving star. It’ll cover a moon’s width of sky in under 5 minutes.
The large asteroid 2005 YU55 will fly within the moon’s distance from Earth on November 8, 2011.
Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society says there are three reasons we should go to Mars: the science, the challenge, the future.
Have you seen crepuscular rays from the ground, fanning out from a sunset or sunrise? Now see them from space.
Wow, we have some talented friends on Facebook. Thank you Raven Yu, Jv Noriega and Elizabeth-Anne Booth for these images of the young moon.
NASA will be tracking 2005 YU55 with antennas of the Deep Space Network in California as the asteroid flies closer than the moon’s distance on November 8, 2011.
“Iapetus is one of the weirdest things in the solar system, said Levision, “and as we study it more and more, it gets weirder and weirder.”
The space shuttle program was one of the most visible, successful and adored missions in NASA’s history. Here’s where the shuttles will end up.
Your 22 minutes of global science and local music from Austin, TX.
Some of the week’s top science news from EarthSky
In this post, see a discovery animation of the first near-Earth asteroid by amateur astronomers.
Color variations on the moon reveal the presence of titanium and suggest how the lunar surface weathered.
Conventional wisdom said a single blow caused Uranus to lie sideways in the plane of the solar system. But maybe the cause was several small bumps instead.
Despite a bright moon, many people saw a good display of meteors in the Draconid meteor shower. Good job Canadian astronomer, Paul Wiegert!
We now have the first scientifically accepted photos of triple and quadruple rainbows. For some, it’s as if we’ve captured a picture of a real unicorn.
The prediction for October 8 Draconid meteor storm favors all of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. A bright moon will interfere.
Scientists piece together six years of images from the Cassini mission to create a mosaic of the surface of Titan — Saturn’s largest moon.
During the last week of September 2011, the coastline of San Diego County had surf that appeared lit from within by tiny sea creatures. See the videos.
During a solar eclipse, the moon’s shadow creates waves in Earth’s atmosphere, much as a ship moving through the ocean creates waves at its bow and stern.
Far from being dead, Mercury’s exosphere is dynamic and continually renewing. This gives astronomers clues about the planet’s surface and environment.
All of launch dates are tentative, but are a welcome step after concerns that launches would cease due to an unmanned Soyuz crash over Siberia on August 24.
Five of Saturn’s moons appear in one image taken by the Cassini spacecraft in 2011.
Is Comet Elenin showing any signs of being a spaceship, colliding with Earth or creating three days of darkness? Nope.
The Space Launch System is a new heavy-lift launch vehicle planned by NASA, similar to the Saturn V rockets that launched men toward the moon 40 years ago.
He was a safe-cracking, bongo-playing, Nobel-prize-winning physicist. His new biography is in comic book form, and we interview the author on this week’s EarthSky 22!
The instruments aboard the twin GRAIL lunar orbiters are so precise they can detect a change in the distance between the two the diameter of a red blood cell.
The meteorites that left craters on the moon likely bombarded Earth with gold and other precious metals.
A cosmic explosion – a supernova – from 21 million light-years away has been in the news. To see it, find a star party and experienced observers.
Jim Ottaviani has writtern non-fiction, science-oriented comics since 1997. His latest book is T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, and his next book will be about primates. He has worked as a nuclear engineer, caddy, programmer and reference librarian. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
New images released today by NASA show tracks from Apollo 17′s lunar rover – and the last footprints left on the moon by astronauts – from the year 1972.
Juno captured this image of the Earth and moon on August 26, 2011 from about six million miles away.
Infamous Comet Elenin might be self-destructing. Its core appears elongated, and its brightness has decreased – telltale signs of a cometary break-up.
UPDATE: Sunday, August 28, 5:40 p.m. EDT (21:40 UTC). Tropical Storm Irene has been gradually weakening and is beginning to lose tropical characteristics.
Mars will not look as big as the moon on August 27, 2011. But, in August 2011, you can see Mars as respectably bright ruddy star, in the eastern predawn sky
An email suggests Mars and the moon will appear the same size on August 27, 2011. Many already know it isn’t possible, and that the email is a hoax.
A new Alzheimer’s treatment is also being studied by the Army as a way to protect soldiers from chemical warfare – on EarthSky 22, your 22 minutes of science and music.
Hurricane Irene is pushing north and will cause significant impacts across North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia this weekend.
On the five-year anniversary of Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet, the lead scientist of a NASA mission to Pluto says he thinks Pluto should have retained full planet status.
Scientists have discovered that ocean tides along the eastern coast of North America were substantially different 10,000 years ago.
Earth’s moon was thought to be 4.57 billion years old, but a detailed analysis of lunar rock indicates it might be as much as 200 million years younger.
Astronomers may have glimpsed graphene in space, providing a clue about how our carbon-based selves and other life on Earth developed.
Mars as big as the moon in our sky on August 27? No way. Deborah Byrd explains on EarthSky 22 – your 22 minutes of science and music. Plus liquid water on Mars, and more.
Alfred McEwen is a planetary geologist and director of the Planetary Image Research Laboratory (PIRL) at the University of Arizona. Dr. McEwen is a member of the imaging science team of the Cassini mission to Saturn; co-investigator on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbit Camera (LROC) team; and principal investigator of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment…read more »
What’s it like at the north pole of Mars, at the time of the northern summer solstice? Check out this image from ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft.
The James Webb Space Telescope brings proven on-the-ground benefits as recently as July 2011. Plus – how you can help save this project.
NASA mission to Jupiter, Saturn’s moon raining on Saturn, meteor possibilities between now and August 10 … and more from your 22 minutes of science and music from Austin, Texas.
NASA’s Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft will carry LEGO likenesses of Galileo Galilei, the Roman god Jupiter, and his wife Juno to Jupiter.
Start watching now if you want to see Perseid meteors. The Perseid meteor shower is building to its peak on August 13 – night of the August 2011 full moon.
Astronomers have discovered the first known “Trojan” asteroid orbiting the sun along with Earth.
Mysterious volcanic domes – rich in silica – have been found on the far side of the moon. Their origin remains enigmatic.
This week in science news: Space Shuttle, Texas evolution, Pluto, more.
An exoplanet like a hot Jupiter, orbiting close to its sun, would likely have an aurora up to a thousand times brighter than one on Earth.
Astronaut and engineer Bonnie Dunbar, who made five shuttle flights and helped build NASA’s shuttle program, reflects on the end of an era.
As the Hubble Space Telescope worked to support NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, it also found a fourth moon for the dwarf planet, scientists announced today.
Ocean Alliance research vessel Odyssey – offshore in the Gulf of Mexico in summer 2011 – reports on its work studying effects of the Gulf oil spill.
Sri Lanka will conduct its first large-scale elephant census in nearly a century, amid fears its elephant population has been reduced by half in the past 100 years.
What causes a monster black hole at a galaxy’s heart to turn on and begin radiating powerfully? European astronomers suggest a reason besides galaxy collisions.
The Cassini spacecraft delivers imagery of a massive thunderstorm on Saturn eight times the surface area of Earth.
A day on Neptune lasts 15 hours, 57 minutes and 59 seconds, according to the first accurate measurement of its rotational period.
The New Horizons spacecraft will have enough fuel for a side trip to a frozen object near Pluto, and IceHunters wants your help in picking it out.
Evolutionary biology can explain skunks’ striking appearance, but only chemistry can get rid of the smell.
The Mars Express spacecraft observed an alignment of Jupiter and the Martian moon Phobos. Captured images now appear as an animation of this rare event.
Fisherman, doctors and bird lovers all rely on the Atlantic horseshoe crab. Can this ancient arthropod please all the people all the time?
NASA’s Dawn mission is bound for orbit around two of the biggest bodies in the asteroid belt: Ceres and Vesta. First stop Vesta in July 2011.
Thanks to a new synthesis of seafloor topography released through Google Earth, you can now see detailed views of deep ocean floor.
NASA’s Voyager mission is headed where no spacecraft has gone before, beyond the space bubble that contains our solar system.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and marine biologist Steve Haddock created this wonderful video about jelly-like life forms that inhabit the ocean.
The European Southern Observatory designated six Photo Ambassadors, who share their dazzling view with the world.
The next total solar eclipse visible from the mainland U.S. will be on August 21, 2017.
In 1992 Dan Brandenstein commanded the first flight of the space shuttle Endeavour. He spoke with EarthSky about Endeavour’s career and final launch May 16, 2011.
Comet Elenin will sweep past Earth in late 2011. NASA’s Don Yeomans says its passage is nothing unusual and no dramatic events are expected.
The Freedom 7 crater on Mars is 82 feet in diameter, matching the height of Shepard’s Redstone rocket.
On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space. His suborbital flight came less than a month after Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth once.
As Mercury reemerges as a morning object in May 2011, the solar system’s innermost planet will join up with the planets Jupiter, Venus and Mars in the eastern sky at dawn.
Quasars illuminate ghostly clouds of intergalactic hydrogen, providing view of universe 11 billion years ago.
ESO astrophotographer captures elusive green flash as moon sets over Chile’s Atacama Desert.
A substance we usually think of as toxic – formaldehyde – might have helped set the stage for life on Earth.
Cassini camera detects unusually strong current looping from the moon Enceladus to Saturn, 150,000 miles away.
Some small mollusks – a species of chiton – have evolved an unusual way to see the world, through hundreds of tiny eyes across their shells.
The amazingly bright object up before the sun in May 2011 is the planet Venus. Look east at early dawn before the sun comes up!
You’re not likely to see much of the planet Jupiter in early May 2011. However, the giant planet quickly climbs away the glow of dawn throughout the month. When will you first spot Jupiter, the sky’s second planet, in the east before sunrise?
Stretching and twisting lines can visually portray the warping of space-time and solve a mystery surrounding merged black holes.
The Russian cosmonaut’s voyage lasted 108 minutes, 89 minutes of which were in space. He orbited the Earth once in his Vostok 1 capsule.
High-precision measurements of Earth’s gravitational field by the GOCE satellite have produced the most detailed mapping yet of subtle changes in gravity across the Earth’s surface.
The moon is our closest neighbor in space, but today two asteroids come closer. One passed through the Earth/moon system this morning – and the other minutes ago.
Astronomers in Ireland have found another asteroid that is Earth’s companion, sharing our orbit around the sun.
Squyres led a committee for the U.S. National Research Council that in 2011 released a report on the future of space missions to the nearby planets in our solar system.
The head of NASA talks about the legacy of the space shuttle Discovery, piloting the mission that launched the Hubble Space telescope, and what’s next for human spaceflight.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft found evidence of spring rains around the equator of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.
Moon. Supermoon. Extreme supermoon. Hey, it’s just the moon, and it’s happened millions of times before in Earth history. The explanation and more for you … on the 22.
On Thursday, March 17, 2011, the MESSENGER spacecraft will become the first space probe to enter orbit around the innermost planet of our solar system, Mercury.
Gene Giacomelli describes how a new kind of greenhouse would work to help feed astronauts on a moon mission in the future.
The moon was not a supermoon – not full, not closest to Earth – during the March 11 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan.
The moon did not cause the 8.9-magnitude Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011. But the moon might cause high tides, and floods, on March 19.
The crew of space shuttle Discovery got a special wake-up call this morning from actor William Shatner of Captain Kirk fame from the TV series Star Trek.
The moon swept past Venus before dawn in late February and early March 2011.
This amazing video shows space shuttle Discovery preparing its last dock with the International Space station.
Astronomer Mike Brown talked with EarthSky about his book, Why I killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming. He explains why Pluto was demoted as a planet and his role in changing how astronomers define our solar system.
DNA may be the world’s most powerful computer chip, says Dr. Martin Hilbert of the University of Southern California. This rockin’ DNA animation would appear to support his claim.
If a single star is a bit of information, there’s a galaxy of info for every person on Earth, says the first-ever inventory of our info capacity.
Tonight, you might see a brilliant flash of light – brighter than the brightest stars. It could be NanoSail-D2, the first solar sail to orbit Earth. Here’s how to see it.
This week … the mummified head of Henri IV, the evolution of ocean color and a map of global health hotspots. All served up with some groovy tunes and all yours from the 22. Dig it!
Russian scientists are close to striking liquid water in Antarctica’s frozen Lake Vostok, which might have been isolated for 15 million years. But Antarctic summer is ending.
Here’s a new image for an object announced today as the most distant known in our universe. Astronomers had to look back through 96.5 percent of all time to see this object, which they call UDFj-39546284.
A study by two engineers suggests that no insurmountable technological challenges will prevent the world from switching entirely to renewable energy sources by 2030. But do we have the will to switch?
Another amazing image of Enceladus, the frozen moon of Saturn, from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The stripe in the background is Saturn’s rings.
Three new images of Mars’ moon phobos – all taken on January 9, 2011 – are intriguing for entirely different reasons.
Will age reversal in mice lead to immortality for humans? You want to know, and we’ll tell you in this week’s EarthSky 22, featuring 22 full minutes of science and music.
What’s the origin of the mysterious green line in a photo, along the boundary of a mountain shadow that’s racing across a Death Valley desert floor?
An occultation of Jupiter has to do with omens for kings, said Professor Robert Weir. He believes the coin was minted to commemorate an event in which the moon blotted Jupiter from view temporarily.
The largest of the nearby galaxies, M87, now has the largest known black hole. It contains 6.6 billion times the mass of our sun and could swallow our solar system whole.
A video of robot juggling, made at the University of Washington Movement Control Laboratory.
EarthSky friends on Facebook honored us with many wonderful photos over this past year. Thank you all. Here’s a great year-end compilation by Stefano De Rosa.
A lightning-fast camera has been used by scientists to take x-ray images of lightning flashes in Florida.
The Cassini spacecraft finished its four-year mission to explore Saturn and its rings and moons in June 2008. But it is still sending back amazing images. Here are two of the most recent.
Whether your calendar says December 20 at this moment – or December 21 – a total lunar eclipse might be visible from your part of the globe tonight.
This image is from EarthSky Facebook friend Brian Pate. It’s yesterday’s daytime moon. Look for the moon in the daytime this afternoon, too …
The majority of scientists in the U.S. fall to one side of the political spectrum: Democrat. That’s not good for science, said science scholar Daniel Sarewitz.
Some craters near the moon’s poles never see sunlight. Now 1,700 photos from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have been combined to show the moon’s darkest places.
Ice volcanoes on Saturn’s moon Titan likely, say scientists who announced their findings at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
The space transport company SpaceX made history by launching a spacecraft, called Dragon, into orbit and recovering it safely, a feat only done before by space agencies of a few nations.
This week on EarthSky 22, we bring you the science of ancient Mayan agriculture with Google Earth, hamsters with jet lag, how to grow food on the moon, and more. And as always, great music!
This remarkable star in the constellation Cetus varies in brightness over the course of 11 months. Sometimes you can see it with the unaided eye, and sometimes you can’t.
The constellation Cepheus the King can only boast of one second-magnitude star. That star is Alderamin, the King’s brightest.
The orange-colored star Mirach in the constellation Andromeda acts as your guide star to three different galaxies: M31 (Andromeda galaxy), M33 (Triangulum galaxy), and NGC 404.
November’s Blue Moon, NASA’s view of the Gulf Oil spill, dinosaur feathers and more…Plus, awesome tunes!
Murphy talks about “non-instrument” navigation, steering a double-hulled canoe across the sea with only celestial bodies and waves to guide it.
This week… glacier and germs and the October full moon. And let us know how you like the music!
Astronomers have found a large and very special type of molecule in space.
Two asteroids – in unrelated orbits – will pass within moon’s distance on September 8. They were discovered on September 5. Neither will strike Earth, scientists say.
NASA lunar scientist Anthony Colaprete is principal investigator of the LCROSS mission that impacted the moon. One of the most fundamental discoveries, he said, was the discovery of water ice.
Space scientist Anthony Colaprete is principal investigator of LCROSS – the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing mission – which crashed a piece of a spacecraft on the moon in October 2009. Dr. Colaprete has worked in space projects from sounding rockets and space shuttle flights, to micro and small satellites. He is internationally recognized for…read more »
An asteroid collision likely wiped out the dinosaurs. EarthSky spoke with astrophysicist David Helfand of Columbia University on the risk to people today from killer asteroids.
A self-guided robotic submarine, designed to look for alien life on an icy moon of Jupiter, completed 6 months of tests in an Antarctic lake here on Earth.
Pandeton, the new director of NASA’s Lunar Science Institute, says that moon is our nearest laboratory off-planet where we can go and actually explore and test.
Astrophysicist Yvonne Pendleton is director of NASA’s Lunar Science Institute, which leads the U.S. space agency’s science efforts to explore and understand Earth’s moon. Dr. Pendleton’s research is in organic molecules found in the interstellar medium, and one of her findings is that of matching signatures from organic molecules in the distant dust of other…read more »
Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy at the University of Texas at Austin. Kirshenbaum is co-author of Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney. Her second book, The Science of Kissing was published January 2011. She also blogs for The Intersection, with Chris Mooney, on discovermagazine.com.
The full moons of the summer months may be best for simple astrophotography because their low paths carry them past interesting foreground objects.
R136a1 is thought to be hundreds of times more massive than our sun – and 10 million times more luminous.
At the end of the Scorpius the Scorpion’s graceful J-shaped pattern of stars, you’ll find Lesath and Shaula. They are sometimes called the Stinger stars of Scorpius.
With just binoculars, says Stephen J. O’Meara, you can see all the major planets, rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter and much more.
Depending on how you look at it, solar eclipses can be said to outnumber lunar eclipses…or the other way around.
If you’re a beginning stargazer or a veteran of thousands of starlit nights, binoculars can be your best friend. Here’s how to get started.
“One of the most important things about exploring space is that it is something that sets us apart in this time that makes history for our nation and for our society,” says Stern.
We propose that that an organization’s scientific work should be considered to have tangible value, rather than just a cost. We call this value “science brand equity.”
The most distant human object from Earth is a spacecraft named Voyager 1, now over 16 billion kilometers – 10 billion miles – away from home.
Astronomers have confirmed sunlight glinting from liquid lakes on the surface of Saturn’s moon.
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which is visible to the unaided human eye, is a familiar sight to observers in Earth’s southern hemisphere. It looks like a detached piece of the Milky Way.
If you could view it with your eye alone – in the sky visible from Earth’s southern hemisphere – you would say it does resemble a luminous cloud. Really, though, it is a nearby dwarf galaxy, orbiting our Milky Way.
Mars’ tiny moon Phobos has created a big stir among astronomers with the fly-bys of the Mars Express Spacecraft of the European Space Agency in early 2010.
Earth Day is a good time to think about the human footprint revealed by NASA satellite images of cities at night.
Astronauts returning from the zero gravity of space often have trouble with balance. Jacob Bloomberg wants to speed up their transition to earthly gravity.
The European Space Agency released the closest image yet made of the flyby of Mars’ moon Phobos by the Mars Express spacecraft.
The author of the 2009 book, Unscientific America spoke about the reasons behind what he calls American inaction on climate change.