Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

150,455 subscribers and counting ...

Space

Photo by Justin Ng
Tonight | May 22, 2015

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2015

With little or no moon to ruin the show, this is a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower. It’ll peak on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13.

An example of a galaxy seen in the infrared, Messier 88.  NASA's WISE mission was designd to find the most luminous galaxies in the universe.  This infrared telescope can see the glow of dust that shrouds these galaxies, hiding them from visible-light telescopes.  Image via NASA WISE
Science Wire | May 21, 2015

Most luminous galaxy in the universe

This galaxy is very distant. It shines with a luminosity of some 300 trillion suns. It’s one of a new class of objects discovered via NASA’s WISE mission.

The sun in extreme ultraviolet, false color green
Science Wire | May 21, 2015

10 things you might not know about stars

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

saturn_rings_300
Tonight | May 21, 2015

Give me five minutes and I’ll give you Saturn in 2015

Best time to see Saturn in 2015 is here! Instructions for finding this beautiful golden planet … here.

Space X Dragon attached to ISS by robot arm
Science Wire | May 21, 2015

SpaceX Dragon is back on Earth

SpaceX confirmed splashdown of Dragon in Pacific Ocean at 12:42 pm ET (1642 UTC), 155 miles SW of Long Beach, California.

Artist's concept of LightSail, via the Planetary Society
Science Wire | May 20, 2015

LightSail launch success!

Sailing on sunbeams. LightSail successfully launched May 20 at 11:05am EDT (1505 UTC). Info on how to follow from here, below.

Scientists are scrutinizing these three boulders on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Science Wire | May 19, 2015

A balancing rock on Rosetta’s comet?

In close-up images via the orbiting Rosetta spacecraft, the rock looks poised like a ballerina, with only a tiny fraction of its surface touching the ground.

Venus (above ridgeline) and Jupiter, plus an aurora, taken this weekend by EarthSky Facebook friend Glenn Miles Photography in Northern Ireland.
Science Wire | May 19, 2015

Jupiter and Venus draw closer!

The sky’s two brightest planets are getting ready for a spectacular conjunction in late June and early July. Start watching them now! Charts and info here.

This map shows the rover's entire traverse from landing to that point. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/NMMNHS
Science Wire | May 18, 2015

Video: First marathon on Mars

On Earth, a fast runner takes a few hours to complete a marathon. On Mars, it took the Opportunity rover 11 years. New short video on Opportunity’s marathon trek.

Young fractures on the surface of Europa.  Read more about this image via NASAPhotoJournal
Science Wire | May 18, 2015

Sea salt on Jupiter’s moon Europa

Europa is thought to have a subsurface ocean. Salt from this hidden sea might be emerging in long fractures visible in the moon’s crust.

Artist's concept of a quasar, via European Southern Observatory
Science Wire | May 17, 2015

Four quasars in a row

Astronomers at Keck Observatory in Hawaii have found a quartet of quasars, embedded in a giant nebula of cool, dense gas. The odds of four of them being so closely packed purely by chance is about 1 in 10 million.

Possible iridium flare via Simon Waldram
FAQs | May 16, 2015

I saw a flash in the night sky. What is it?

We can’t always say for sure what you saw in the night sky. But it might have been a flare from an iridium satellite.

The still unraveling remains of supernova 1987A are shown here in this image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The bright ring consists of material ejected from the dying star before it detonated. The ring is being lit up by the explosion's shock wave. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Science Wire | May 15, 2015

Watch off-kilter explosion of supergiant star

This one-minute animation shows the shock wave that is created when the core of a massive star collapses.

Moon shot with blue filter via our friend Jv Noriega
Science Wire | May 15, 2015

When is the next Blue Moon?

A Blue Moon can be the second of two full moons in a month. Or it can be third of four full moons in a season. Next Blue Moon is the second full moon of July, 2015.

Closest and farthest moons
Blogs | May 14, 2015

Moon at perigee – nearest point to Earth – May 15

The intriguing cycle of closest and farthest moons. Plus, dates for 2015’s 13 perigees (closest points) and 13 apogees (farthest points).

pluto-timeline-cp
Science Wire | May 14, 2015

New Horizons’ first photos of Pluto’s smallest moons

With its close encounter with Pluto still two months away, New Horizons’ powerful camera has caught a glimpse of tiny moons Kerberos and Styx!

Sun's path through the zodiac.
FAQs | May 14, 2015

Dates of sun’s entry into each constellation of the Zodiac

Dates of sun’s entry into each zodiacal constellation and the corresponding ecliptic longitude (sun’s position in degrees, east of the March equinox point).

M13
Science Wire | May 14, 2015

Astronomers find dark globular clusters

They believe there’s unexpected dark matter – or black holes – in the mysterious clusters orbiting the center of the giant galaxy Centaurus A.

Artist's concept via NASA
Science Wire | May 14, 2015

Asteroid passes by Earth on May 14

But, contrary to some media reports, asteroid 1999 FN53 will not “skim” our planet.

Mercury via MESSENGER
Science Wire | May 12, 2015

An ancient magnetic field on Mercury

Near the end of its mission, the MESSENGER spacecraft revealed Mercury’s magnetic field to be at least 3.7 to 3.9 billion years old, or older.

The Andromeda Galaxy with two of its satellite galaxies, via Wikimedia Commons.  Click here to expand.
Science Wire | May 12, 2015

Gargantuan gas halo around Andromeda galaxy

A dark halo of gas that envelopes our neighboring Andromeda galaxy is 1,000 times more massive than previously measured and stretches halfway to the Milky Way.