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Violent, head-on crash created moon

On this episode of EarthSky News, an update on the idea that the early Earth collided with a Mars-sized proto-planet to make the moon. That and more. Join us.

Take a colorful flight over dwarf planet Ceres

A new animation shows a simulated flight over the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, based on images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

Day of remembrance: Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

January 28, 1986. On today’s date 30 years ago, the Space Shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51-L) exploded and broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The explosion led to the deaths of all seven Challenger crew members.

And now … a real ISS transit of Saturn

An apparently fake image ran in APOD a few days ago, but this video of an ISS transit across the face of Saturn looks real.

EarthSky News with Deborah Byrd

EarthSky News with Deborah Byrd for January 25, 2016. Constellation David Bowie? Are the aliens extinct? Plus …the most powerful supernova discovered in human history. And how to see the moon sweeping past the planets before dawn.

Zoom to super luminous Milky Way stars

New Hubble Space Telescope video zooms in on Trumpler 14, a young cluster of hot, massive and bright stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

2015 hottest year on record, by far

This visualization illustrates Earth’s long-term warming trend, showing temperature changes from 1880 to 2015 as a rolling five-year average. Orange colors represent temperatures that are warmer than the 1951-80 baseline average, and blues represent temperatures cooler than the baseline.

“What we have seen this past year will likely be routine in about 15 years, although regionally the details will vary considerably,” says climate expert Kevin Trenberth.

Cascade of magnetic arches on sun

Take 15 seconds to watch glowing magnetic arches cascade across the solar surface, captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Solid evidence for a 9th planet, say Caltech astronomers

Caltech announced today (January 20, 2016) that its astronomers now have solid theoretical evidence for a giant planet – a 9th major planet in our solar system – moving in what they called a “bizarre, highly elongated orbit” in the outer solar system. They’ve nicknamed it Planet 9 and hope other astronomers will search for it.

See it! Moon hides bright star Aldebaran

As seen from North America – and westernmost Europe and Africa – moon swept in front of bright star Aldebaran last night. Photos from the EarthSky community here. Thanks to all who submitted, or posted at EarthSky Facebook, or EarthSky Photos on G+! The video above is from Greg Hogan in Kathleen, Georgia.