Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

238,167 subscribers and counting ...

Deborah Byrd

Pluto mission team live on Facebook Thursday

The New Horizons team will be discussing the historic Pluto encounter and the spacecraft’s next target in the Kuiper Belt – live on Facebook – beginning at at 4 p.m. EST (21:00 UTC).

Last quarter moon is January 19

A last quarter moon rises around midnight. It appears half illuminated from Earth. The exact last quarter phase will come on January 19, 2017 at 22:13 UTC.

Speed of light

Manuel Dietrich titled this photo Speed of Light. He captured it in the Black Forest of southwest Germany.

Hubble spies exocomets’ plunge into star

Interstellar forecast for a nearby star: Raining comets! The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered doomed, wayward comets plunging into the star HD 172555.

2017 is a lousy year for Mars, but wait!

Throughout 2017, Mars will appear as a faint and inconspicuous reddish star in our sky. But wait until 2018, when Mars will come closer to Earth than it has since 2003.

Today in science: Finding magnetic south

On January 16, 1909, a team of Antarctic explorers thought they’d found the magnetic south pole. Then, a few years later, they began to have doubts.

Why stars seem brighter this time of year

No matter where you are on Earth on December, January and February evenings, you’re looking toward bright stars in our local spiral arm.

Waning Venus

Between now and late March, when Venus flies between us and the sun – thereby entering our morning sky – those with telescopes will see Venus wane, like a little waning moon.

Seeking Alpha Centauri’s unseen planets

A new agreement between the European Southern Observatory and Breakthrough Initiatives will let ESO’s Very Large Telescope seek planets in the star system next door.

Into the storm

Manish Mamtani was coming back from Yellowstone National Park in late 2016, when he encountered this storm on the road ahead.