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Deborah Byrd
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A rare sky over northern Idaho

A 22-degree halo and circumzenithal arc, an upper tangent arc and 2 more rare arcs … good day to have a head in the clouds.


Hazy light pyramid in east? False dawn

You’ll see the zodiacal light, or false dawn, at this time of year. Look east, an hour before true dawn begins to break.

Greg Diesel-Walck captured the waning moon on August 29, too. He wrote: "This morning's moon at sunrise in Moyock NC. Very difficult to capture the fading moon in the brilliance of color but this is not a filtered image right off the camera."

Where’s the moon? Waning crescent

A waning crescent moon is sometimes called an old moon. It’s seen in the east before dawn.


How Earth looks from outer space

If you were looking with the eye alone, how far away in space would our planet Earth still be visible?

The green line depicts the ecliptic, the Earth's orbital plane projected onto the constellations of the Zodiac.

Ophiuchus is part of the zodiac, too

The sun is in front of the constellation Ophiuchus from about November 30 to December 17. Look for it in the southwest sky on August and September evenings.


Your cosmic suntan

Lie on the beach, and your body is bombarded by light from our sun, and from beyond our galaxy.


Photos and video of Venus and Jupiter!

August 27, 2016 was the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. Sky’s 2 brightest planets. Closest conjunction of any 2 planets in 2016.

August 27, 2016 earthquake in western Wyoming.

4.8-magnitude earthquake in Wyoming

The August 27, 2016 Wyoming earthquake took place at 2:47 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (2047 UTC). Many reports of shaking.


Every visible star is within Milky Way

On August evenings, in a dark country sky, you’ll easily spot the starlit band of our huge, flat Milky Way galaxy.

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 was August 25

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.