Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

0 subscribers and counting ...

MarCO: Tiny cube satellites headed to Mars

These boxy satellites, small enough to fit in a backpack, are currently trailing thousands of miles behind the InSight spacecraft on their way to Mars.

It’s Mid-Autumn Festival time in Asia

In China and other Asian countries, it’s sometimes called the Moon Festival in honor of the upcoming full moon.

Pablo Neruda and cosmic beauty

Neruda wrote: “Every day you play with the light of the universe.”

Here’s what closed Sunspot Solar Observatory

Federal court documents this week revealed an FBI investigation of a janitor suspected of using Sunspot Solar Observatory’s internet connection to send and receive child pornography.

Elon Musk and SpaceX announce 1st tourist for ‘moon loop’

Musk said Monday from SpaceX headquarters in California that it will send Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa – with a group of artists – on a loop around the moon and back to Earth in 2023.

Scientists discover earliest human drawing yet

This month, scientists published their discovery of 73,000-year-old cross-hatchings found in a South African cave. It’s now the earliest known drawing and evidence of early humans’ ability to store information outside the human brain.

10 years of Large Hadron Collider discoveries

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has generated mind-blowing science in the last decade – including the Higgs boson particle. How the LHC, one of the most complex machines ever created, is helping physicists decode the universe.

Aurora alien and storm trooper

Göran Strand captured an aurora over Sweden this week, but it wasn’t until he mirrored the image that things got interesting. Can you see the alien? How about the storm trooper? Both are examples of pareidolia.

How meteorologists predict the next big hurricane

Hurricane Florence is barreling for U.S. coast, right at the height of hurricane season. How do experts know when and where the next big hurricane is going to hit? It’s complicated.

Alien-hunting AI discovers dozens of mysterious fast radio bursts

Astronomers with the Breakthrough Listen program used AI (artificial intelligence) to find 72 repeating, short, unpredictable radio bursts, from a mysterious source 3 billion light years away.

Wildlife hotspots thanks to livestock dung heaps?

Some of the African savannah’s most biologically diverse wildlife hotspots owe their vitality to heaps of manure deposited over thousands of years by livestock of wandering herders, says a new study.

Watch online, as asteroid 2018 RC sweeps past

Asteroid 2018 RC will sweep past at about half the moon’s distance during the night of September 8, according to clocks in the Americas. Learn how to see it online.

Tropical Storm Gordon has made landfall

One death has been reported so far from the storm. Gordon’s winds were just below hurricane-force last night when it made landfall just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border.

Why you can smell rain

What you’re smelling is petrichor – a pleasant, earthy scent that accompanies a storm’s first raindrops. A weather expert explains where it comes from.

8 planets in 1 night, from Rome

“I have been thinking for decades about imaging 8 planets of our solar system in 1 night, from sunset to dawn. I imaged all of them from Rome, above the amazing monuments of the Eternal City.”

Beluga whales and narwhals go through menopause

Besides humans, only 4 species are known to experience menopause, and they’re all whales – belugas, narwhals, killer whales and short-finned pilot whales.

What is a Dyson sphere?

Dyson spheres are back in the news. In case you’ve never heard of them – or want to brush up – here’s a primer.

Hybrid super-snakes in South Florida?

Interbreeding between Burmese and Indian pythons in South Florida might have resulted in what geneticists call “hybrid vigor.” One result is that the snakes seem to have adapted to both swamps and high, dry ground.

How a volcano helped defeat Napoleon at Waterloo

In June 1815, the Allied army defeated Napoleon’s army at Waterloo. An Indonesian volcano helped, says a scientist at Imperial College London.

Guessing your shelter dog’s breed? You’re probably wrong

What breed is he? is often the first question people ask about a dog, but the answer is often terribly inaccurate,” said the author of a new genetic study of shelter dogs.