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Orion from the Southern Hemisphere

See the 3 stars of Orion’s Belt in the upper right of this photo? The large, reddish cloud-like region on the lower left is the Gum Nebula.

Snow geese

Marcia White Bower captured migrating snow geese in central New York on March 19.

Colors of scintillating Venus

Venus reaches inferior conjunction today, officially leaving the evening sky. It has been low in the sky, where Earth’s atmosphere has caused Venus to scintillate, or twinkle, in many colors.

Perfect airplane glory

You might catch an airplane glory when a mist or cloud lies below you, with the sun shining upon it.

Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Ancient structures in a desolate area of land in surrounded by a Navajo reservation. Around 1,000 years ago, the architects of this place walked away.

Green flash at sunset

It’s easiest to see a green flash with optical aid, but you have to be very careful not to look too soon, or you’ll dazzle – or damage – your eyes.

It looked like the sun set twice

A lone, small, very brightly illuminated passing cloud – at the exact point where the sun was going down – caused the illusion of a double sunset.

Last sunset of winter sun pillar

Photographer Josh Blash caught this sun pillar last night in Hampton, New Hampshire. It’s caused by ice crystals drifting in the air.

New mosaic of Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula – 1,400 light-years away- is the closest star formation region to Earth. This image is the latest in the Hubble Space Telescope’s collection.

Last night’s successful SpaceX launch

After standing down due to high winds, SpaceX chose March 16 for its EchoStar XXIII launch. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket delivered this commercial communications satellite for EchoStar Corporation to a geostationary transfer orbit.

Celestial spiral is a double star

It’s not a spiral galaxy. It’s a double star system seen from Earth to create a spiral shape in a shell of gas.

Venus as a crescent world

Photos from the EarthSky community of the planet Venus – next planet inward from Earth in orbit around the sun – in early 2017, in a crescent phase.

See it! Moon sweeps past Jupiter

Monday and Tuesday nights, the waning moon and this planet were near each other and the 2 brightest things in the night sky. Photos from the EarthSky community.

Cloud shadow on nearby clouds

Like all objects illuminated by sunlight, clouds cast a shadow.

Vibrant sundog

A sundog – a piece of a larger halo around the sun or moon – is caused by tiny ice crystals in the upper air.

Sliding stone, Death Valley

Here’s a beautiful image of a sliding (or sailing or slithering) stone at Death Valley’s famous Racetrack Playa. Cat Connor caught it on Christmas Day 2014.

Leo and Chinese guardian lions

An earthly lion guards the gates, while, in the sky, a celestial Lion – Leo – ascends. Astrophotographer Jeff Dai of China tells the story.

Rat-shaped cloud, with virga

“What was interesting … was the development of a small upside-down cumulus on the underside of the cloud head from which delicate curtains of virga could be seen descending.”

Wicked fast aurora

Photographer Tommy Richardsen called it ‘wicked fast,’ saying it started a second or 2 before he clicked the shutter button, and faded before the 13-second exposure was over.

California sediments pour into the sea

Drought plagued California and much of the American Southwest for nearly 5 years before this year. Now satellites see swollen rivers dumping sediments into the sea.