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Deborah Byrd

Telescopes and laser beam, in Hawai’i

A visit to the summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawai’i, where astronomers from 11 countries operate telescopes.

Waning gibbous moon on the morning of July 24, 2016, by Ruy Queiroz in São Paulo, Brazil.

Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous

Look for the waning gibbous moon late at night. It might look strangely oblong. Or look for it in the west in early morning, floating against the pale blue sky.


Summer Triangle and smallest constellations

You need a dark country sky to see these small constellations in and about the Summer Triangle: Vulpecula the Fox, Delphinus the Dolphin and Sagitta the Arrow.


Moon shadow in 2017 eclipse

Fly along with Earth’s shadow in a video depicting the path of the August 21, 2017 total eclipse of the sun, first eclipse over the continental U.S. since 1979.


Altair and Aquila the Eagle

In the east, after dark on July evenings, look for the bright star Altair fairly close to the horizon. Altair is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila.

Animals that help pollinate plants and spread their seeds are critical to keeping forests healthy. Photo via Eike Lena Neuschulz/ AlphaGalileo.

Healthy forests need birds and bees

A new study shows that we humans can help maintain healthy forests by focusing conservation efforts on the protection of animal pollinators and seed dispersers.

WISE all-sky image of Milky Way galaxy. The circle is centered on the galaxy's central region. The inset shows an enhanced version of the same region that shows a clearer view of the X-shaped structure. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech; D. Lang/Dunlap Institute.

The X at the center of the Milky Way

Computer models, and observations of our galaxy and others, suggested a Milky Way X, made of stars. An analysis of data from the WISE space telescope reveals it.

This week's rising full moon over the Tetons, by Chris Davis.  Thanks, Chris!

Moonrise over the Tetons

The Tetons are part of the Rocky Mountains in North America – mostly in Wyoming – south of Yellowstone National Park.


Deneb and Cygnus the Swan

Deneb is the northernmost star in the Summer Triangle asterism. Its constellation Cygnus the Swan flies along the starlit trail of the Milky Way.


Rainbow light in the mist, Sweden

What appears to be a corona, possibly caused by water droplets in a mist – or even by pollen – as the sun rises over Sweden.