Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

274,955 subscribers and counting ...

Deborah Byrd

Is Pluto made of a billion comets?

By comparing data from the 1st-ever Pluto flyby and a 1st-ever comet rendezvous mission, scientists developed what they call ‘the giant comet’ model of Pluto formation.

Today in science: Kennedy’s moon speech

On May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy gave a stirring speech to a joint session of Congress, inspiring a nation to land humans on the moon with a decade.

What’s this strange cloud?

“Eerie!” thought Michael Scully in North Carolina on Monday morning, when he caught this image with his iPhone. Turns out it was a rocket launch from Wallops Island of an uncrewed Cygnus cargo ship, due to reach the International Space Station today.

Astronomers scrutinize Black Widow pulsar

They observed 2 intense regions of radiation on this rapidly spinning pulsar some 6,500 light-years away. “Like seeing a flea on the surface of Pluto,” they said.

Sunrise from Sea Bright, New Jersey

One World Trade Center – aka Freedom Tower – is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

Look for the legendary green flash

A sea horizon is best for seeing a green flash, but any distant, flat horizon will do. Look at the last moment before the sun sets.

Does Mars have a North Star?

Will future Mars explorers have a North Star to guide them?

Mars brighter in 2018 than since 2003

Mars is getting bright! But it’s still up between midnight and dawn. Between now and July, the red planet will shift over into the evening sky … and then the drama will begin!

Milky Way center over Pondicherry, India

Photographer Karthik Easvur reminds us that our galaxy’s center is 25,000 light-years away. So light from the galactic center that reached the sensor of his camera started its journey 25,000 years ago.

Situation at Kilauea Volcano ‘steadily worsening’

A large explosion happened Friday night into Saturday at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano. The 1st serious injury is reported. USGS warns of the release of toxic gases in a plume called a laze, which happens when molten lava hits sea water. Latest images and videos here.