Summer 2019 tied for hottest on record for Northern Hemisphere

June through August 2019 was the Northern Hemisphere’s hottest summer on record, tied with 2016. Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, the same period marked the 2nd-warmest winter in the 140-year record.

Did an asteroid collision cause an ice age on Earth?

Could a collision between 2 asteroids millions of miles away cause an ice age on Earth, some 460 million years ago? A new study of earthly rocks and sediments – plus micrometeorites that fell in Antarctica – suggest it’s possible.

No, asteroid 2007 FT3 won’t hit Earth in October

Why is the internet so chock-full of stories about asteroids on a collision course with Earth? At this rate, we should have been obliterated many times over already. Here comes the newest scare story: asteroid 2007 FT3. No, it won’t hit us, either.

Volcanic eruption creates moveable islands of pumice

Last month, rafts of pumice, spewed from an undersea volcano and spanning an area about the size of Washington, D.C., appeared in the South Pacific.

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How to see the Great Square of Pegasus

It’s easy! The Great Square of Pegasus consists of 4 stars of nearly equal brightness in a large square pattern. Once you find it, you can star-hop to other well-known sights in the sky.

Will a huge volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io erupt this month?

Loki, the largest volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io, erupts on a more or less regular schedule. Planetary scientists are predicting an eruption this month. Here’s what we know.

Are Saturn’s rings young or old?

Cassini data suggested that Saturn’s rings were only 10 to 100 million years old. A new study suggests that a “ring rain” onto Saturn makes the rings look younger than they really are, and that in fact Saturn’s rings date back billions of years.

What makes a red rainbow?

Have you ever seen a red rainbow? You might, if you’re outside at sunrise or sunset at a time when there’s rain in the air. Red rainbows have a surreal beauty, but their explanation is fairly ordinary. They’re created via the same physics that makes a sunset or sunrise looks red.

Tsunamis, wildfires followed dinosaur-killing impact

A new study that analyzed rock from deep within the Chicxulub impact crater helps reveal what happened within the first 24 hours after the asteroid impact that doomed the dinosaurs.

Mystery green blob appears and disappears in distant galaxy

What is ULX-4 – a mystery green blob of X-ray light that appeared in the Fireworks Galaxy – and then soon disappeared again? A black hole or neutron star are 2 possibilities.

Fomalhaut: The loneliest star

It’s also sometimes called the autumn star for us in the Northern Hemisphere. In its large dark patch of sky, only Fomalhaut shines brightly. Here’s how to see it.

Why carbon dioxide has such outsized influence on Earth’s climate

Carbon dioxide, CO2, makes up less than one-twentieth of 1% of Earth’s atmosphere. How does this relatively scarce gas control Earth’s thermostat?

All you need to know: September equinox

We have an equinox coming up on September 23. Happy autumn, Northern Hemisphere. Happy spring, Southern Hemisphere.