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Exciting news! Astronomical League and EarthSky join forces

Greg Hogan created this image.  Isn't it great?  Thanks, Greg!

An EarthSky community member, Greg Hogan, created this image. Thanks, Greg!

Popular astronomy website and nation’s largest federation of astronomy clubs have joined forces to to bring the night sky’s wonder, beauty, and mystery to the public.

Comet Tempel 1 and Deep Impact

View larger. | NASA's 'Deep Impact' probe's historic appointment with Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005.  Artist's concept by Marco Nero in Sydney, Australia

NASA’s ‘Deep Impact’ probe’s historic appointment with Comet Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005. Artist’s concept by Marco Nero in Sydney, Australia

Artist’s concept of first-ever earthly space probe to impact a comet’s surface. Learn more about this mission, and see an actual image of the impact itself, inside this post.

Video: The science of dogs

The newest video from AsapSCIENCE is for dog lovers. That is, for everyone!

Blue Moon – second July full moon – on July 31

Patrick Casaert – whose community on Facebook is called La Lune The Moon – used a blue filter to capture this shot of the moon on July 27, 2015.

Patrick Casaert used a blue filter to capture this shot of the moon on July 27, 2015.

Blue Moon coming! As seen in the photo above by Patrick Casaert, the moon has been waxing to full this week. Patrick used a blue filter to create his moon photo, and if you see the moon in tonight’s sky, you’ll see it’s nearly full … but not at all blue in color. Yet, as the second full moon for the month of July, many will call it a Blue Moon.

Impacts of climate change on human health

Image credit: Lancet Commission

Image credit: Lancet Commission

A new report published in The Lancet finds that “tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”

Found! First aurora beyond solar system

View larger. | Artist conception of an aurora over the polar region of a brown dwarf. Image via Chuck Carter and Gregg Hallinan, Caltech.

Artist concept of an aurora over the polar region of a brown dwarf. Image via Chuck Carter and Gregg Hallinan, Caltech.

The brown dwarf LSR J1835+3259 has now been found to have a powerful aurora, the first aurora seen beyond our solar system and the most powerful aurora ever seen. This aurora is 10,000 times more powerful than any astronomers have witnessed before.

Largest dinosaur with birdlike wings and feathers

Fossil remains of large winged dinosaur Zhenyualong Suni.  This nearly complete skeleton was found in northeast China’s Liaoning province.  , Image via Junchang Lu and Stephen Brusatte via Science.

Fossil remains of large winged dinosaur, named Zhenyualong Suni. This nearly complete skeleton was found in northeast China’s Liaoning province. Image via Junchang Lu and Stephen Brusatte via Science.

Discovery of largest-ever winged dino in China, from 125 million years ago. It was sleek and birdlike with feathers on its arms and torso, but it could not fly.

Solar halo over Sweden

View larger. | Visit Fotograf Goran Strand on Facebook.

Solar halo around a statue, by Göran Strand.

Halos are a sign of high thin cirrus clouds drifting high above our heads. The clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals, which both refract (split) and also reflect sunlight. Read more about this photo, inside.

Orion the Hunter: Ghost of summer dawn

In late July and early August, watch for the three medium-bright

In late July and early August, watch for the three medium-bright “Belt” stars of Orion the Hunter to ascend over your eastern horizon shortly before dawn.

Orion the Hunter appears each Northern Hemisphere winter as a mighty constellation arcing across the south during the evening hours. But, before dawn in late July and early August, you can spot Orion in the east. Thus Orion has been called “the ghost of the shimmering summer dawn.” The Hunter rises on his side, with his three Belt stars – Mintaka, Alnitak and Alnilam – pointing straight up.

New names and insights about Ceres

Read more about this image.

This pair of images shows color-coded maps from NASA’s Dawn mission, revealing the highs and lows of topography on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA. View larger and read more about this image.

NASA’s Dawn mission to Ceres today released some colorful new maps of the dwarf planet, showcasing a diverse topography, with height differences between crater bottoms and mountain peaks as great as 9 miles (15 km). Dawn is now making its way to its third mapping orbit, and results are coming out of the mission, but still no confirmation on the mysterious bright spots on Ceres. However, the crater that contains them now has a name.