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.

New study finds polyester fibers throughout the Arctic Ocean

A new study has found that pollution from microplastics is widespread in the Arctic Ocean, and 92% of those particles are minuscule synthetic fibers from our clothes.

2020 tied for warmest year on record

2020 was Earth’s hottest year in the 140-year record, effectively tying 2016, the previous record-holder.

Megalodon shark’s enormous babies ate their siblings in the womb

Megalodons – the extinct giant sharks that lived in most of Earth’s oceans about 3 million years ago – gave birth to babies that were larger than adult humans, scientists say.

Record number of billion-dollar disasters in U.S. in 2020

Last year, the U.S. experienced a record-smashing 22 weather and climate disasters that killed at least 262 people and injured scores more. Damages exceeded $1 billion each and totaled approximately $95 billion for all 22 events.

The long decline of Arctic sea ice

Forty years of satellite data show that 2020 was just the latest in a decades-long decline of Arctic sea ice.

View from orbit of a volcano puffing out a plume of steam, ash and rock fragments.

View from space: An outburst from Popocatépetl

Popocatépetl volcano near Mexico City has been erupting since January 2005. On January 6, Mexico’s National Center for Prevention of Disasters, which continuously monitors the volcano, warned people not to approach due to an outburst that caused falling ash and rock fragments.

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.

What are sun pillars or light pillars?

Sun pillars, or light pillars, are shafts of light extending from the sun or other bright light sources under the right atmospheric conditions. They’re caused by ice crystals drifting in Earth’s air.

Kelvin Helmholtz clouds near Sandpoint, Idaho.

Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds look like waves in the sky

Clouds in the sky can mimic cresting ocean waves. These photographic clouds are called Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds, and occasionally also go by the name billow clouds or shear-gravity clouds.

2020 Arctic Report Card: Sea ice loss, extreme wildfires

NOAA’s 2020 Arctic Report Card describes a region that is warming even more rapidly than scientists expected.

Night photo of lava flowing down a mountainside, into a lava lake.

Dramatic images of erupting Kilauea volcano in Hawaii

Overnight on Sunday, USGS reported lava fountains that shot nearly 165 feet into the sky from a fissure on the eastern side of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. Lava has replaced the water that was in the basin of the crater, and a new lava lake was formed.

Personal solstices

Photos from EarthSky community members around the world, showing what the December solstice – bringing winter to half of Earth, and summer to the other half – means to them. Thanks to all of you for sharing these evocative images with us!

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!

Illustration showing the ice shelves around South Georgia and the iceberg's position with respect to them.

Iceberg due to collide with island splits in 2

Antarctic iceberg A-68A has drifted menacingly close to a remote island in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The giant iceberg could strike land this month. It has now split into 2 pieces.

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.

What are your chances of a white Christmas this year?

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Here’s a map depicting which places in the US have the best chance of being snowy on Christmas Day 2020.

Sluggish start for Arctic sea ice freeze-up

Early ice retreat amid warm Arctic air temperatures set the stage for the slow refreeze in 2020.

Photo of a northern mockingbird.

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count starts December 14

The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count is one of the longest-running community science projects in existence. Learn how to join the count here.

New marine protection zone will help endangered penguins and more

Plans are in place to create the world’s 4th-largest fully protected marine reserve at the Tristan da Cunha archipelago.