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EarthSky Voices

Where does lightning strike in the US? See maps

The Gulf Coast is one of the lightning hot spots in the United States. See where the other active areas are in these new maps.

Why do we need a leap year? And happy February 29!

Every 4 years is a leap year. So 2024 has a leap day, February 29. But why? Julius Caesar presented a solar calendar to keep the seasons in line.

Lost bird rediscovered in African mountain range

During an expedition into mountains in Africa, researchers rediscovered a 'lost bird' - a yellow-crested helmetshrike - that had not been seen in decades.

Did passing stars change Earth’s orbit?

We long suspected that passing stars are what send distant comets sunward. But could passing stars also change Earth's orbit? A recent study says yes.

How astronauts to Mars can manage stress on the long journey

Astronauts headed to Mars will live and work in confinement for more than two years. Here are ways to manage these stressful conditions.

Cumulus clouds disappear quickly during a solar eclipse

New research out of the Netherlands says that cumulus clouds disappear quickly during a solar eclipse as air temperatures drop. Good news for eclipse chasers!

Star clouds in the Milky Way are doing the wave

Star clouds peppered with stellar nurseries form a huge, wave-like structure in the Local Arm of our galaxy. And now astronomers discovered its doing the wave.

Death Valley – driest spot in North America – has a new lake

Heavy rain in August 2023 and February 2024 created a new, ephemeral lake in Death Valley National Park, the hottest, driest and lowest place in North America.

Are we poised to understand fast radio bursts?

Will we soon understand fast radio bursts? Two NASA X-ray telescopes recently observed one shortly before and after it occurred. Magnetars could be the bursts' source.

‘String of pearls’ star clusters form when galaxies collide

This beautiful galaxy is one of many that Hubble has observed showing a 'string of pearls.' When galaxies collide, it forms star clusters in the tidal tails.