Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

212,040 subscribers and counting ...


Another wave of bird extinctions in the Americas?

Several bird species are taking their final bows on the global evolutionary stage, and winking out. The situation in northeast Brazil is particularly dire.

Bingham Mine landslide April 10, 1963 via U. Utah

This date in science: Landslide at Bingham Canyon Mine

On April 10, 2013 – three years ago today – an enormous landslide took place at the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah. Amazingly, no one was hurt.

In October 2013, Cassini flew high above Saturn, looking down toward its north pole. It took a series of shots that were then assembled into this amazing mosaic by software engineer Gordan Ugarkovic.

Planet 9 not affecting Cassini at Saturn

“Although we’d love it if Cassini could help detect a new planet, we don’t see any perturbations in our orbit that we cannot explain with our current models,” said Cassini project manager Earl Maize.

The Allen Telescope Array

SETI turns focus to 20,000 red dwarf stars

Astronomers with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence had their reasons for ignoring red dwarf stars in the past. But now that thinking has changed.

Artist’s illustration of Hitomi. Image credit: JAXA, Akihiro Ikeshita

Astronomers await pings from troubled Hitomi

An unknown disaster seems to have befallen the Japanese satellite that launched in February. Why X-ray astronomers are anxious for good news.

View larger. | It's called Mount Sharp, but it's really just a mound on Mars, in the center of the Gale Crater, where the Curiosity rover set down in 2013. Gale Crater, the landing spot of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, has a three-mile-high mound at its center called Mount Sharp. The circle indicates the rover’s landing place. The blue line is its path. New research shows mounds like this may have been carved by wind over billions of years. Image via NASA/JPL.

How to make a mountain on Mars

They’re not mountains in the earthly sense. They’re mile-high mounds, which – a new study says – were carved over billions of years by wind and climate.

Cropped still from a video by Gerrit Kernbauer of Austria. He acquired it on March 17, 2016.

Another asteroid clobbers Jupiter

Giant Jupiter is a frequent target for asteroid strikes, in part because of its size. This impact is the 5th we’ve seen in the past decade.

Comet Hale-Bopp with its prominent dust (white) and plasma (blue) tails. Photo via E. Kolmhofer, H. Raab; Johannes-Kepler-Observatory, Linz, Austria.

This date in science: Comet Hale-Bopp

The Southern Hemisphere has seen magnificent comets in recent years. But the last widely seen comet for the Northern Hemisphere was Hale-Bopp in 1996-97.

Chandra's image of 3C273 shows important new details in the extremely powerful jet that probably originates from gas that is falling toward a supermassive black hole but is then redirected by strong electromagnetic fields. This Chandra image has enabled scientists, for the first time, to detect a continuous X-ray flow in 3C273 from the core (upper left) to the jet. This discovery may reveal insight into the physical processes that power these long-puzzling energetic jets.

The extremely hot heart of quasar 3C273

Scientists combined telescopes on Earth and in space to learn that this famous quasar has a core temperature hotter than 10 trillion degrees! That’s much hotter than formerly thought possible.


Evolution insights from a walking cavefish

Fish evolved into the first land vertebrates 420 million years ago. Clues to that fins-to-limbs transformation may lie in a walking blind cavefish in Thailand.