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Deborah Byrd

Peering to the Milky Way’s far side

Astronomers use parallax to directly measure the distance to a star-forming region on the opposite side of our Milky Way galaxy, nearly doubling the previous distance record.

Rainbow with anticrepuscular rays

Karl Diefenderfer must have been looking east at sunset on October 9, in order to photograph this rainbow with anticrepuscular rays, caught “as the remnants of hurricane Nate left southeastern Pennsylvania.”

Today in science: The Day of 6 Billion

Global population reached 6 billion in 1999 and 7 billion in 2011. Today – October 12, 2017 – it stands at about 7.6 billion, according to United Nations estimates.

Today in science: Proxima Centauri

Astronomers announced the discovery of Proxima Centauri – next-nearest to our sun – on this date in 1915.

What bright star flashes red and green?

A bright star twinkling with red and green flashes, low in the northeastern sky on October evenings, is probably Capella.

Asteroid to sweep close October 11-12

Asteroid 2012 TC4 is being used as a test of Earth’s global asteroid defense system. How to see it online.

Secret Antarctic ice canyons revealed

Ice shelves in Antarctica are like conveyor belts, continually carrying ice to the sea. Scientists have found hidden canyons on their undersides that may affect the shelves fragility.

Red sprite over Oklahoma

Photographer Paul Smith said he thinks this may be the 1st documented capture of a red sprite over Oklahoma. They’re large-scale electrical discharges – high above thunderstorm clouds – flickering in the night.

This region on Mars may hold clues to earthly life

Evidence for deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Eridania basin of southern Mars. Even if Mars never had life, this region may tell us about the type of environment where life on Earth may have begun.

Fall colors in New Hampshire

“Fall colors are back,” wrote photographer Manish Mamtani.