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Posts by Deborah Byrd

This single frame from Rosetta’s navigation camera of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was taken on 25 March 2015 from a distance of 86.6 km from the comet centre, a few days before a flyby that would bring Rosetta to within about 15 km of the comet. It was during this flyby, on 28 March, that Rosetta’s ROSINA instrument made a detection of the amino acid glycine in the comet’s ‘atmosphere’, or coma. Read more about this image from ESA.
Science Wire | May 28, 2016

Life ingredients in Rosetta’s comet!

It’s “the first unambiguous detection of glycine at a comet” and supports the theory that the building blocks for life came to Earth from outer space.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Today's Image | May 28, 2016

Saturn’s south polar vortex

A monstrous vortex sits at Saturn’s south pole. It’s not just beautiful. It also lets astronomers peer deep into Saturn’s dense atmosphere.

Full moon over Dallas via Ben Zavala.
Tonight | May 27, 2016

Four keys to understanding moon phases

Why does the moon seem to change its shape every night? Remember that the moon is a world in space with a day side and a night side.

Mosaic image of Africa, contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by Brockmann Consult/ Université catholique de Louvain as part of ESA’s Climate Change Initiative Land Cover project
Today's Image | May 27, 2016

Cloud-free Africa

The European Space Agency used 7,000 satellite images – acquired from late 2015 through early 2016 – to make this mosaic of Africa.

2014-may-21-vega-alphecca-arcturus-corona-borealis-night-sky-chart
Tonight | May 27, 2016

Look for the beautiful Northern Crown

Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, is easy to find in a dark sky. It’s an almost perfect semi-circle of stars. Look for it between two bright stars: Arcturus and Vega.

Artist's concept of primordial black holes, via NASA.
Science Wire | May 26, 2016

Is dark matter made of black holes?

What if if dark matter consisted of a population of black holes similar to those detected by LIGO last year? A new study analyzes this possibility.

View larger.  | May 21, 2016 image via Stereo-A.
Today's Image | May 26, 2016

Spacecraft spies Saturn, Mars, Earth

Maybe you’ve seen Saturn and Mars close together in the sky recently? NASA’s Stereo-A probe caught Saturn and Mars … with Earth in between.

10may13_430
Tonight | May 26, 2016

Find a famous globular star cluster, M13

M13 is a densely packed globular cluster of about 300,000 stars, more than 25,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Hercules.

Crowd watches Apollo 11 launch on July 16, 1969
Blogs | This Date in Science | May 25, 2016

This date in science: Kennedy ignites dreams of moon

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

Photo by Yuri Beletsky in the Atacama Desert.
Today's Image | May 25, 2016

Sunrays seen from Chile

Crepuscular rays, sometimes called sunrays, above the famous volcano Licancabur on the border between Chile and Bolivia.