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Photos

Omega Centauri, a ghost galaxy, from a ghost town

Omega Centauri on March 14, 2016 by Rob Pettengill in Terlingua, Texas.

Omega Centauri on March 14, 2016 by Rob Pettengill in Terlingua, Texas.

The globular star cluster Omega Centauri is a sought-after target for astrophotographers, visible only from southerly latitudes, for example, at the latitude of South Texas. That’s where Rob Pettengill captured this photo last month, in a little town – often called a ghost town – near Big Bend National Park.

What makes a red rainbow?

Frances Pelletier caught this double red rainbow - and the planet Venus - on February 9, 2016 from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Frances Pelletier caught this double red rainbow on February 9, 2016 from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Red rainbows happen when the sun is on the horizon. They’re created in much the same process that causes a sunset or sunrise to look red. Details – and more photos – inside.

Holding 2016’s smallest full moon

Moonrise on April 23, 2016 by Scott Kuhn.

Rise of the April, 2016, full moon by Scott Kuhn of Chatsworth, Georgia.

This weekend’s full moon was the farthest full moon, and the smallest full moon of 2016. We’ve heard it called the micro-moon or mini-moon.

Clouds, moonglow, 2 planets

The morning planets and the bright star Antares on April 19, 2016. Photo by Tom Wildoner. Visit Tom at LeisurelyScientist.com

The morning planets and the bright star Antares on April 19, 2016. The brightest one in this photo is Mars; it’s about to get very bright! Photo by Tom Wildoner.

Mars and Saturn on the morning of April 19, from Weatherly, Pennsylvania. Thanks so much to Tom Wildoner for sharing his photo with us!

Ferret and stars in Montana

View larger. | Photo taken April 8, 2016 by John Ashley at UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge in central Montana.

View larger. | Photo taken April 8, 2016 by John Ashley at UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge in central Montana.

Montana’s rarest native animal, a black-footed ferret, surfaces on a starry night.

See it! Moon sweeps past Jupiter

Raul Cortes in Monterrey, Mexico, captured the moon and Jupiter on the night they were closest, April 17.

Raul Cortes in Monterrey, Mexico, captured the moon and Jupiter on the night they were closest, April 17.

The moon swept past Jupiter over the past few nights. Check out these photos from the EarthSky community.

An inconspicuous comet

Tom Wildoner wrote:

Tom Wildoner wrote: “I captured this image early on the morning of April 15, 2016 in Hickory Run State Park, Pennsylvania.” Visit Tom at LeisurelyScientist.com

Many hoped Comet 252P/LINEAR would become visible to the eye. It has, but only barely. Enjoy photos from the few, the proud, who’ve captured this comet on film!

Giant sunspot turns toward Earth

Bernie McGee in Scotland caught this image at sunset on April 11, 2016. He wrote:

Bernie McGee in Scotland caught this image at sunset on April 11, 2016. He wrote: “Didn’t realize when I took this that I’d captured a massive sunspot! :))”

The sun is now moving toward a minimum in the 11-year solar cycle, and spots on the sun’s surface have been extremely few and far between. But, in recent days, a giant spot has come into view on the sun. Dubbed Active Region 2529, it is many times the size of Earth. EarthSky community member have captured images of AR2529 and it has now turned in Earth’s direction.

Mars rover up high, spies a dust devil

Color-processed view of Opportunity's great dust devil shot, by artist Don Davis.  Read more about this image on Davis' Facebook page.

The Opportunity rover on Mars recorded this image of a swirling Martian dust devil on March 31. Color-processed view by artist Don Davis. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Don Davis.

After making the steep-ever climb of any rover on Mars, Opportunity looked back along its own tracks toward a dust devil, twisting through the valley below.

See it! Star Aldebaran near the moon

Fernando Roquel in Caguas Puerto caught Aldebaran after the occultation, when it re-emerged from behind the moon.

Fernando Roquel in Caguas Puerto caught Aldebaran after the occultation, when it re-emerged from behind the moon.

On Sunday, as seen from North America, the moon “occulted” or passed in front of the star Aldebaran in daylight. Many then saw Aldebaran near the moon Sunday evening.