Posts by 

Deborah Byrd

Antarctic ice on the run, with a 45-year low

Antarctic ice is melting. This February, it's at its lowest extent in the 45-year satellite record. Also, a long-term melt study suggests a surprising speed-up.

Chinese balloon in high-res, from above, via a U2 pilot

A top-down view of the Chinese balloon that caused an uproar as it drifted over the U.S. in early February 2023, as seen from a US Air Force plane.

Nicolaus Copernicus born 550 years ago today

Today is the 550th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus, who removed Earth from the center of the universe and set off a revolution.

Hare and Dove at Orion the Hunter’s feet

If you have a dark sky, you can see constellations representing a Hare and Dove. They're 2 faint constellations near easy-to-find Orion.

Pale Blue Dot 33 years later: Earth in a sunbeam

February 14, 2023, is the 33rd anniversary of the Voyager 1 image of Earth. Voyager was near Saturn when it took this image, now known as the Pale Blue Dot.

It’s spoke season on Saturn!

Spoke season on Saturn comes in cycles centered on Saturn's equinoxes, which happen only about every 15 years. It's happening now!

See Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky

Spot Sirius in Canis Major the Greater Dog - the brightest star as seen from Earth. Learn the science and mythology of the Dog Star.

Sundog obliterated by a rocket 13 years ago

On February 11, 2010, a solar observatory that launched into space ripped apart a sundog and created a new ice halo that amazed scientists.

How does Earth look from outer space?

How does Earth look from space? You could see it from Neptune, but it's brighter from closer locations. Spacecraft photos tell the tale.

Great Meteor Procession 110 years ago

On February 9, 1913, lucky observers witnessed the Great Meteor Procession. Bright meteors soared horizontally across the sky for minutes at a time.