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Deborah Byrd

Gaia’s 2nd data release: 1.7 billion stars!

Why did ESA’s director of science say Gaia’s observations are “redefining the foundations” of astronomy? Also, links to virtual reality resources made possible by Gaia, available for you to explore.

Watch thousands of asteroids orbiting our sun

Both NASA and ESA space missions have just released new videos plotting the orbits of tens of thousands of asteroids (and comets) orbiting our sun.

How do flocking birds move in unison?

How do some species of birds in flocks perform their wonderful, graceful, synchronized movements? Hint: they don’t just follow a leader or their neighbors.

Watch the mating dance of a new bird species

Be a birder for a few minutes, and enjoy the distinctive song, dance and courtship display of a newly recognized Bird-of-Paradise, in new videos from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

See it! Last weekend’s Lyrid meteors

We didn’t receive huge numbers of photos of the 2018 Lyrid meteor shower, but the ones we saw were beautiful. Thanks to all who submitted.

These sea turtles use magnetic fields like GPS

“They might not always make it back to the exact beach where they were born, and instead might opt for beaches with similar magnetic properties, as if their internal GPS has just slightly mixed up addresses.”

Star trails show celestial equator

Enjoy this interesting and unique photo of star trails, showing the whereabouts of the celestial equator and the arc of stars around both celestial poles.

Do we all see the same moon phase?

One Earth. One sky. One moon phase (more or less) from all of Earth. So why (and how) does the moon look different from different parts of Earth?

1st deep-space CubeSats ready for launch to Mars

Riding along with the Mars InSight mission, the 2 briefcase-sized CubeSats are designed to demonstrate nearly real-time communications between worlds.

Mars brighter in 2018 than since 2003

Mars is getting brighter. By mid-2018, Mars will be at its brightest since 2003, when it was closer and brighter in our sky than in some 60,000 years.