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Posts by Deborah Byrd

View larger. | The Milky Way as seen from Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, by Dave Lane Astrophotography.  Visit Dave Lane's Facebook page.
Today's Image | Dec 20, 2014

Milky Way above Navajo sandstone in Arizona

Those who’ve been there say the drive to White Pocket – a swirling, twisted, multicolored landscape in northern Arizona – is an adventure in its own right.

mercury-10-18-2014-MESSENGER-cp
Science Wire | Dec 20, 2014

Help name craters on Mercury

Competition to name five impact craters on Mercury. Submit ideas December 15, 2014, to January 15, 2015. Finalists go to the IAU for selection of five winners.

The Northern Cross stands upright in the west on December evenings.
Tonight | Dec 19, 2014

Northern Cross stands upright in west on December evenings

The Northern Cross isn’t as famous as its counterpart – the Southern Cross – visible from the Southern Hemisphere or the northern tropics. But the Northern Cross also looks like a cross, and it’s pretty easy to spot.

The Aqua satellite caught this image of the unnamed iceberg on December 3, 2014.  Image via NASA Earth Observatory.
Today's Image | Dec 19, 2014

Big iceberg in South Atlantic

Satellites have detected an iceberg adrift in the South Atlantic Ocean. It’s big … but doesn’t meet the criteria for tracking or naming.

Comet Finlay on December 16th shows a bright coma and short tail. Its sudden rise  to 9th magnitude was confirmed on December 18th by Australian comet observer Paul Camilleri. The moderately condensed object is about 3 arc minutes in diameter. Credit: J. Cerny, M. Masek, K. Honkova, J. Jurysek, J. Ebr, P. Kubanek, M. Prouza, M. Jelinek
Science Wire | Dec 18, 2014

Comet Finlay is in outburst!

With a small ‘scope or large binoculars, you can catch Comet Finlay. It’ll be near Mars on December 23 and 24. Cool photo opportunity for those equipped to catch it!

Winter solstice at Stonehenge.
Blogs | Dec 18, 2014

Winter solstice as seen from Stonehenge

At Stonehenge in England on the northern winter solstice, people watch the sunrise and sunset. Learn more and see photos here.

December solstice
Blogs | Tonight | Dec 18, 2014

Everything you need to know: December solstice 2014

December solstice 2014 is coming up this Sunday, December 21 at 23:03 UTC. Celebration time!

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.
Tonight | Dec 17, 2014

December 2014 guide to the five visible planets

In December, 2014, Venus out briefly after sunset; Mars up in early evening; Jupiter shines from mid-to-late-evening to dawn; Saturn in the southeast predawn; Mercury lost in the sun’s glare.

venus-express-aerobraking-2014-cp
Today's Image | Dec 16, 2014

So long, Venus Express!

ESA lost full contact a few weeks ago. The spacecraft is expected to fall into Venus’ thick atmosphere and likely be destroyed in the coming weeks.

The first definitive detection of Martian organic chemicals in material on the surface of Mars came from analysis by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover of sample powder from this mudstone target, "Cumberland." Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Science Wire | Dec 16, 2014

Questions of life on Mars revive with methane spike

Curiosity rover has now measured a dramatic spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the Martian air, plus other organic molecules in a Martian rock.