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Little solar halo observer

Photo taken January 22, 2015 by Fotograf Göran Strand.   Visit Göran on Facebook.

Little Solar Halo Observer, taken January 22, 2015 by Fotograf Göran Strand.

Göran Strand in Östersund, Sweden, posted this photo at EarthSky Facebook. He wrote:

Today, a beautiful solar halo was visible around Östersund. Me and my son went out watch it over the frozen lake Storsjön. It was his first full circle solar halo so it was a big moment … also for his daddy.

Friday night’s rare triple shadow transit of Jupiter

A triple transit of Jupiter's moons on October 12, 2013.  John Rozakis in Athens, Greece captured it.  Photo used with permission.  Thank you, John!

A triple transit of Jupiter’s moons on October 12, 2013. John Rozakis in Athens, Greece captured it. Photo used with permission. Thank you, John!

If you’re in the right place on Earth and have a telescope and clear sky – or if you have a computer and online connection – you can see a rare triple transit of Jupiter’s moons Friday and into Saturday morning, January 23-24, 2015. The moons are Io, Europa and Callisto – three of Jupiter’s four large Galilean satellites – which can be seen orbiting Jupiter in an endless dance, any night, with binoculars or telescopes. What’s special here is that the moons will be positioned in such a way that their shadows will fall on Jupiter’s cloudtops.

See it! Best photos of moon and Venus

Planet Venus and young moon on January 21, 2015, as captured by Kathy Emmett Palmer in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Planet Venus and young moon on January 21, 2015, as captured by Kathy Emmett Palmer in Panama City Beach, Florida.

The planet Venus was in the morning sky for most of last year, and it was in our evening sky – but low in the sky and not noticeable in December, 2014. Now Venus is back! It’s that very bright object in the west just after sunset each evening. On January 21, 2015, as the young moon edged far enough from the sunset to become visible in the evening sky, many began to see the moon near Venus …

Venus vortex!

Image credit: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA/Univ. Oxford

Image credit: ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA/Univ. Oxford

This ghostly puff of smoke is actually a huge mass of swirling gas and cloud at planet Venus’ south pole, as seen by ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft.

Dramatic sunset over the Atlantic, seen near Rio

January 17 sunset by Helio de Carvalho Vital.  Shot 3 of 6.

January 17 sunset by Helio de Carvalho Vital. Shot 3 of 6.

Series of images of Saturday night’s amazing sunset, seen over the Atlantic from a small town near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photos by Helio de Carvalho Vital.

Milky Way over Todd Lake Basin, Oregon

Photo by Jason Brownlee.  Visit Jason Brownlee Design on Facebook

Copyright 2014 Jason Brownlee. Used with permission.

Here in the midst of our northern winter, a beautiful shot of the summer Milky Way.

Trees are poems

Photo by Kurt Harvey

Photo by Kurt Harvey. Visit Kurt Harvey on Google+.

Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.

~Khalil Gibran

Kurt Harvey captured this image in Yosemite National Park in California. Details inside.

How to see Comet Lovejoy, plus best photos!

View larger. | This photo map shows Comet Lovejoy’s nightly position among the winter stars through January 19 as it travels across the constellation Taurus not far from the bright reddish star Aldebaran and the tiny, misty, dipper-shaped Pleiades star cluster. Credit: Bob King.  Read Bob King's article about the comet at Universe Today

This photo map shows Comet Lovejoy’s nightly position among the winter stars through January 19 as it travels across the constellation Taurus not far from the bright reddish star Aldebaran and the tiny, misty, dipper-shaped Pleiades star cluster. Credit: Bob King, aka AstroBob.

The wonderful New Year’s comet – Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy – is now heading for its January 30 perihelion, or closest point to the sun (120 million miles/ 193 million km away). Yes, it still appears as a hazy, greenish dot in our sky, at the edge of visibility to the unaided eye, but certainly visible through binoculars and telescopes. The comet passed closest to Earth on January 7, when it was 43.6 million miles away / 70.2 million km from us. On January 9, it crossed over into the easy-to-find constellation Taurus the Bull. It’s now near the easy-to-see Pleiades star cluster, sometimes called the Seven Sisters. Look below for charts and some recent photos. And check back because new photos are coming in every day now. Follow the links inside for more.

Rare ice halo display in New Mexico

View larger. |  Halo display in Red River, New Mexico January 9, 2015.  Photo by Joshua Thomas.

View larger. | Halo display in Red River, New Mexico January 9, 2015. Photo by Joshua Thomas.

The U.S. National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas posted this photo on its Facebook page this weekend. It’s a superb ice halo display captured by Joshua Thomas in Red River, New Mexico on the morning of January 9, 2015. Look inside for a labeled version of the same photo, and for an explanation of what makes these magnificent arcs in the sky.

Winter!

Photo credit: Matt Bert

Photo credit: Matt Bert

What cold looks like …

Three views of winter from EarthSky friends.