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Deborah Byrd

Happy World Penguin Day

Antarctica has 12 million penguins and 5 penguin species, according to a new report released today. But at least 2 penguin species have recently and significantly declined.

Raining stars

Although they’re called shooting stars, meteors aren’t star-related. They’re really comet dust. Nature photographer John Ashley created this composite image of the Lyrid meteor shower peak April 22.

Cassini completes final, fateful Titan flyby

This was Cassini’s 127th Titan flyby. The craft passed at an altitude of about 608 miles (979 km) above the moon’s surface. Cassini is now in position for its daring Grand Finale.

How our Milky Way looks from space

Composite of 2 spiral galaxies – offered in celebration of the Hubble Space Telescope’s 27th birthday today – shows how our Milky Way galaxy might look if we were outside it.

April 26 new moon is a supermoon

New moon will happen on April 26 at 12:16 UTC. It’s 2017’s first supermoon, that is, a moon particularly close to Earth. Expect larger than usual tides to follow this new moon.

Where’s the moon? Waning crescent

Some caught the waning crescent moon – the “old” moon – in the east before dawn Monday morning. Next new moon is April 26, 2017 at 12:16 UTC.

See it! Meteors, moon, Venus photos

The Lyrid meteor shower didn’t produced as many meteors as hoped, but we some lovely photos. And the moon and Venus were awesome Sunday morning!

Kochab and Pherkad in Little Dipper

Kochab and Pherkad are the two outer stars in the bowl of the Little Dipper.

Celebrating science, the Earth and the sky

Earth Day and the March for Science, April 22. International Dark Sky Week, April 22-28. Links and resources for all 3, here.

Earth and moon between Saturn’s rings

Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn obtained this new image April 12. The craft was 870 million miles (1.4 billion km) from Earth.