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Deborah Byrd

Meteor over Hidden Lake, Montana

The road into the heart of Glacier National Park in Montana is called Going-to-the-Sun Road. Here’s a night sky photo over the park’s Hidden Lake.


Star trails at Giant Magellan Telescope site

When completed in 2025, the Giant Magellan super-scope in Chile is expected to have a resolving power 10 times that of the Hubble Space Telescope.

The moon was almost exactly at last quarter when Jenney Disimon in Sabah, North Borneo captured this photo on July 27, 2016 (5:30 a.m. local time, or July 26 at 21:30 UTC).

Last quarter moon is September 23

Fun time to see a last quarter moon: just after it rises, shortly after midnight. Then the lighted portion points downward, to the sun below your feet.

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.

Late September-October planet guide

Use the moon to catch Mercury before dawn in late September, 2016. Then watch as Jupiter pairs with Mercury in the picturesque glow of dawn on October 11.

Image Credit: Esparta

All you need to know: September equinox

2016’s September equinox arrives on the 22nd. Happy autumn (or spring)!


A Chinese perspective on autumn

Autumn is connected in Chinese thought with the direction west, considered to be the direction of dreams and visions.

Andrew Wetzel’s simulation shows stars in the Milky Way-like galaxy on the left and the same region’s dark matter on the right. Image is provided courtesy of Andrew Wetzel. Via Carnegie Science.

Dwarf galaxies and dark matter update

Standard cosmology calls for many more dwarf galaxies than we see. A new computer simulation suggests we might not need so many dwarf galaxies, after all.

This image shows the debris ring around Fomalhaut and the location of its first known planet. This is the actual discovery image, published in the journal Science in November, 2008. Fomalhaut b was the first beyond our solar system visible to the eye in photographic images. Image via Hubble Space Telescope.

Star of the week: Fomalhaut

Fomalhaut is sometimes called the Loneliest Star. Its planet, Fomalhaut b, was the first planet beyond our solar system to be visible to the human eye.

Siberia blanketed in smoke from wildfires, September 20, 2016, 10:10 a.m. local time. Contains Copernicus Sentinel satellite data, processed by ESA.

Wildfires in Siberia

2016 has been a bad year for wildfires in the forests of eastern Russia, too.


Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous

The Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon has come and gone. The moon is now waning and rising later at night.