Artist's concept of a red giant scorching a planet.

What is the fate of the Earth?

Our Earth and sun were born together, and their fates are tied together. As our star becomes a red giant and billows outward, our planet will become a dry, scorched, uninhabitable rock. This will happen even as our Milky Way galaxy collides with the Andromeda galaxy next door.

Swirling green aurora in Alaska.

The myths behind the southern and northern lights

For millennia, humans have viewed the northern and southern lights – aurora borealis and aurora australis – and created myths and folklore to explain the dancing lights they saw in the sky.

A very faint star field, with the comet, a tiny dot, within tick marks.

Newly found Comet Leonard might become 2021’s brightest

The first comet to be found in 2021 – labeled C/2021 A1 (Leonard) – might become the brightest comet of this year! Charts and more info here.

What are degrees, arc minutes and arc seconds?

How do skywatchers measure distances in the night sky? Here’s how to understand it when they speak of objects as being several degrees (or several arc minutes or arc seconds) apart.

Simulated solar system orbits, showing the location of the Earth and the asteroid on January 6, 2021.

Biggest asteroid to pass Earth in 2021 also one of the fastest

On March 21, when asteroid 2001 FO32 sweeps past Earth, it’ll be moving at such a fast pace that¬†observers using telescopes might be able to detect its motion – its drift in front of the stars – in real time.

2021’s Quadrantid meteors: All you need to know

In a dark sky, you might see 25 meteors per hour at the Quadrantid’s peak, or more. Here’s how to watch.

Close and far moons of 2021

In the year 2021, the moon will swing to its farthest point from Earth on May 11, 2021, and then will come closest to Earth on December 4, 2021.

Lengths of lunar months 2021

Quite by coincidence, the true lunar month straddling the years 2020 and 2021 matches the mean lunar month in length: 29 days 12 hours and 44 minutes. That almost never happens.

January 2021 guide to the bright planets

As the year opens, you can still view 2 bright close-knit planets in evening twilight: Jupiter and Saturn. Mercury joins them on January 9, 10 and 11. Mars is the only bright evening planet out after true darkness falls. Dazzling Venus is the sole morning planet, lighting up the east at dawn.

Oddly shaped near-horizon suns and moons

The light rays from the sun or the moon travel through more atmosphere near the horizon, which can cause the image you see to be distorted in imaginative ways.

Amazing photo of a meteor streaking right in front of Venus

EarthSky’s 2021 meteor shower guide

All you need to know about major meteor showers in 2021.

Sun’s entry into zodiac constellations, 2021

The sun entered the constellation Sagittarius on December 18, 2020. It’ll cross into the constellation Capricornus on January 20, 2021. Look here for dates of the sun’s entry into the zodiacal constellations for 2021.

Why are the stars so bright tonight?

In late December – and in January and February – our evening sky faces away from the Milky Way’s star-rich center. We look toward the depths of space beyond our galaxy’s boundaries and toward some close, bright stars in our local spiral arm.

Jupiter and Saturn above bright city lights.

Your photos of 2020’s historic Jupiter-Saturn conjunction

Jupiter and Saturn’s great conjunction – where they appeared exceedingly close on the sky’s dome – was December 21. Thank you to EarthSky community members from around the world who captured photos!

A man extending his arm to the sky, as if to hold the planets Jupiter and Saturn.

All you need to know: 2020’s great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter and Saturn at conjunction are only 0.1 degree apart. Don’t miss them! Info, charts, photos here.

Jupiter and Saturn, annotated, above holidays lights.

Will Jupiter and Saturn appear as one star in 2020?

Jupiter and Saturn – the 2 biggest planets in our solar system – are very close together on December 21. Will they look like one star? Some answers here. Plus, possible astronomical explanations for the Star of Bethlehem or Christmas star.

All you need to know: 2020’s December solstice

Late dawn. Early sunset. Short day. Long night. December solstice 2020 arrives on December 21 at 10:02 UTC. High summer for the Southern Hemisphere. For the Northern Hemisphere, the return of more sunlight!

Solstice tale of two cities

December solstice sunrise comes at the same time for St. Augustine, Florida, and New York City. But St. Augustine has an hour more of daylight than New York. Here’s why.

Ursid meteors peak around the solstice

This annual shower always peaks around the December solstice. The dark hours before dawn are best.

The Large Magellanic Cloud, our galactic neighbor

The Large Magellanic Cloud is a petite galaxy visible with the unaided eye – all year round – for those in the Southern Hemisphere. This small neighboring galaxy to the Milky Way is somewhere between spiral and irregular in shape.