5 things about radiation donuts, in 2 minutes

Did you know that our planet has radiation donuts? These giant, donut-shaped clouds of radiation are called the Van Allen Belts.

Rover spacecraft on reddish-brown landscape

Mars Opportunity rover ends its mission

The Mars Opportunity rover, built to last 90 days, has ended its mission after 15 years on the red planet.

How animals love

“The animal world tells us again and again and again that love is really important.”

Another huge impact crater under Greenland ice?

A glaciologist has discovered a possible 2nd impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland.

Today in science: Spacecraft destroys sundog

When a NASA spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral on February 11, 2010, it destroyed a sundog in Earth’s atmosphere – bringing to light a new form of ice halo – and teaching those who love the sky something new.

Florescent green waves on a dark sky

Stargazing destinations: Yellowknife

This 3rd episode of an ongoing stargazing video series – called Chasing Darkness – is from Yellowknife, Canada. It features the magnificent northern lights.

Bubbles of brand new stars

This dazzling region of newly-forming stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud was captured by ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

Close-up on a field of stars, with a more-distant stellar grouping behind it.

Astronomers find a new, nearby galaxy

Astronomers studying a globular star cluster accidentally discovered a more-distant galaxy behind it. The little galaxy is 30 million light-years away and is nicknamed Bedin 1. The videos in this post take you there.

A person in a red jacket photographing the night sky. Milky Way stars reflecting in desert's dry lake bed.

Stargazing destinations: Oregon

Here’s the 2nd video in the Chasing Darkness series, a stargazing destination guide. This episode: Skies over Oregon’s Cascade Mountains and Alvord Desert.

Close-up of a section of the moon, with arrow pointing to meteorite flash

A meteorite strike during the moon eclipse!

Check it out. You can see the flash of a meteorite that struck the moon during Sunday night’s total eclipse. Photos and video here.

Stargazing destinations: Alberta

Skywatchers! Check out this first video in the Chasing Darkness series, a stargazing destination guide. This episode – dark sky preserves in Alberta, Canada.

White circular smudge or reddish background.

Video: 15 years of Mars images

ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft began sending back images from its orbit around Mars in January 2004. Take 5 minutes to see some of the coolest images of the mission so far.

The shrinking Aral Sea

The Aral Sea was once the world’s 4th-largest lake. But in the 1960s, the Soviet Union diverted 2 major rivers to irrigate farmland, and the Aral Sea has been slowly disappearing ever since.

Photo shows a A sparkling violetear and a brown violetear displaying their neck side-feathers, so-called “ears,” to dissuade each other from using their weaponized bills, which have strongly serrated edges and dagger-like tips.

Watch hummingbirds feed – and fight – in slo-mo

Turns out some hummingbird bills have evolved for fencing as well as sipping nectar.

So long, Iridium flares

And hello, Iridium NEXT. The final launch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites is targeted for January 8, 2019, at 7:48 a.m. PST. Meanwhile, the beloved glints of Iridium flares are disappearing from Earth’s night skies.

Why are moths attracted to flame?

Moths – and many other flying insects – are probably more disoriented by a close light source than they are attracted to it.

Artist's concept showing OSIRIS-REx spacecraft lassoing asteroid Bennu

Spacecraft orbits tiny Bennu, breaks record

On December 31 – while we celebrated – NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft went into orbit around Bennu, a near-Earth asteroid. The maneuver makes Bennu the smallest object yet to be orbited by a spacecraft.

EarthSky’s top 5 stories of 2018

From the months-long eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano to a strange object discovered on the surface of Mars – and more – here’s a quick roundup of the stories our readers enjoyed most in 2018.

A star is born

Take 2 minutes to learn about the life and death of a planetary system in this new video from NASA.

Goodbye to Saturn’s rings

Scientists have long said that Saturn’s glorious rings may be only temporary. New research confirms a “ring rain” onto Saturn that’ll leave the planet ringless in 300 million years, or sooner.

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