Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

137,505 subscribers and counting ...

Photos

Watch Sunday spacewalk, last of three

NASA astronaut Terry, Virts Flight Engineer of Expedition 42 is seen working to complete a cable routing task while near the forward facing port of the Harmony module on the International Space Station. February 21, 2015. Image credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Terry, Virts Flight Engineer of Expedition 42 is seen working to complete a cable routing task while near the forward facing port of the Harmony module on the International Space Station. February 21, 2015. Image credit: NASA

On Sunday (March 1, 2015) two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will perform the last of Expedition 42’s scheduled spacewalks. The spacewalk will begin around 6:10 a.m. Central Time and is expected to last about 6 hours, 45 minutes. NASA Television coverage on Sunday will begin at 5 a.m. Central time. Watch here

Meteor shower at 40,000 feet

View larger. | Alpha Centaurid Meteor Shower @ 40,000 ft by Colin Legg Photography

Alpha Centaurid Meteor Shower @ 40,000 ft by Colin Legg Photography

Leave it to Colin Legg – one of the most amazing sky photographers we know – to catch a meteor shower from the window seat of an airplane. Colin wrote to EarthSky:

Valentines day (night), red eye flight back to Perth.

Amazingly, the Alpha Centaurid meteor shower was active!

Another breathtaking view of Comet Lovejoy

Comet Lovejoy on December 27, 2015 from the Fermi Dark Energy Camera

Comet Lovejoy on December 27, 2015 from the Fermi Dark Energy Camera. Image via Fermilab’s Marty Murphy, Nikolay Kuropatkin, Huan Lin and Brian Yanny

Fermilab’s Dark Energy Camera took a break from studying one of the greatest mysteries in modern cosmology – dark energy – to capture this stunning view of Comet Lovejoy – an extremely photogenic comet – on December 27, 2014. At the time this image was taken, the comet was passing about 51 million miles from Earth – a short distance for the Dark Energy Camera, which is sensitive to light up to 8 billion light-years away.

Fireball at Sandy Point, Maine

View larger. | A bright meteor, or fireball, at Sandy Point, Maine by Mike Taylor Photo

Bright meteor, or fireball, captured from Sandy Point, Maine by Mike Taylor Photo

Two photographers – Mike Taylor and Sonia MacNeil of Mike Taylor Photo – caught a bright meteor, or fireball, from an icy beach.

Barnard’s Loop and more in Orion

View larger. | Orion Molecular Cloud Complex -  a large group of bright nebulae, dark clouds, and young stars located in the constellation of Orion - as captured by Max Corneau in Texas.  Thank you, Max!

Orion Molecular Cloud Complex – a large group of bright nebulae, dark clouds, and young stars located in the constellation of Orion – submitted to EarthSky by Max Corneau in Texas. Thank you, Max!

When you look at the sky at this time of year, one of the most prominent constellations you see is Orion the Hunter. It’s recognizable mainly for the short, straight row of three medium-bright “Belt” stars at its mid-section. See those stars on the photo above? What you don’t see, with the eye alone, is the great complex of bright and dark nebulae – vast clouds drifting in our Milky Way – in and around Orion. That’s what Max Corneau has captured in this long-exposure photograph.

Lenticular clouds look like UFOs

View larger. | Lenticular clouds over Sangre de Cristos mountains, New Mexico, by EarthSky Facebook friend Geraint Smith.

Lenticular clouds over Sangre de Cristos mountains, New Mexico, by EarthSky Facebook friend Geraint Smith.

These lens-shaped clouds are often mistaken for UFOs. Here’s how they form, plus gorgeous photos and a video.

More favorite photos of February 20-21 planets and moon

Mohamed Laaifat Photographies in Normandy, France also posted at Earthsky Facebook last night.  He caught the planets and moon in the same frame with the International Space Station!  Thank you, Mohamed.

Mohamed Laaifat Photographies in Normandy, France caught this cool photo last night. He caught the planets and moon in the same frame with the International Space Station! Thank you, Mohamed.

Wonderful photos of Venus and Mars, and the waxing moon, after sunset on February 20-21, 2015! Thanks to all who posted at EarthSky Facebook or submitted to EarthSky.org.

Lonely cloud pouring its heart out in Zimbabwe

View larger. | Peter Lowenstein wrote: “A lonely cloud pouring its heart out over Mutare, Zimbabwe. It is not often that one sees heart-shaped clouds and rarer still to see rain falling in such a narrow and well defined stream from underneath one. I captured this image from the verandah of my house using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 compact camera in Intelligent Auto mode.”

Wonderful photo of an unusual rain cloud, plus three others from Mutare, Zimbabwe. Thanks for sending them, Peter Lowenstein!

Wind sculpted this frozen sand in Michigan

View larger. | Photo by Joshua Nowicki.

Photo by Joshua Nowicki Photography.

It was fiercely cold in the U.S. state of Michigan this past weekend, when Joshua Nowicki posted this cool photo at EarthSky Facebook. He said these interesting formations were created by the wind eroding the frozen sand at Silver Beach County Park in Saint Joseph, Michigan on February 14, 2015.

Amazing Mercury close up

Image via NASA / JHU / APL MESSENGER spacecraft.

Image via NASA / JHU / APL MESSENGER spacecraft.

The MESSENGER spacecraft acquired this image of Mercury on January 23, 2015, at a time when this part of Mercury was near sunset. It’s one of the highest-resolution images yet obtained of Mercury.