Deborah Byrd

Look west after sunrise for the daytime moon

We’re past full moon, but the moon is still big and bright. Watch each morning in the west for a pale daytime moon floating against a blue sky.

A distant galaxy’s black hole seen to flare unexpectedly

Astronomers now call recently-discovered flares from supermassive black holes in distant galaxies quasi-periodic eruptions. “Giant black holes regularly flicker like a candle but the rapid, repeating changes seen in GSN 069 from December onwards are something completely new,” said one scientist.

Brighter Venus, fainter Mercury, in bright twilight above a roofline.

Yesterday evening’s Venus-Mercury conjunction

The close conjunction of Mercury with Venus in last night’s evening sky was near the sun and exceedingly tough to spot, even with optical aid. Still, EarthSky friend Helio Vital managed to capture it!

Astronomers spy a 2nd interstellar visitor

Astronomers think the object they’ve labeled C/2019 Q4 – discovered August 30 – came from a place far, far away. If confirmed, it’s only the 2nd interstellar object ever detected, after ‘Oumuamua in 2017.

Latest Saturn portrait, from Hubble

The solar system’s most photogenic planet, captured by most earthlings’ favorite space telescope.

Wiggly gray outline with a bright yellow-orange blob in the center, against black background.

Scientists detect towering balloon-like structure near Milky Way’s center

It’s a huge bipolar gas structure, hundreds of light-years across, centered on our galaxy’s center and near the galaxy’s central supermassive black hole. Astronomers found it with the new, supersensitive MeerKAT telescope in South Africa.

All you need to know: 2019’s Harvest Moon

It’s an early Harvest Moon in 2019, coming up on September 13 and 14 for the Northern Hemisphere.

Artist's depiction of looking through haze at a large Titan lake.

Did underground explosions create Titan’s lakes?

The lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan are filled with liquid methane, not water, and some are surrounded by steep rims. A new study suggests these features might have been caused by explosions of warming nitrogen, which created Titan’s lake basins long ago.

Watch for the legendary green flash

People tell me when I go to the beach to look at the sunset to try to see a green flash. What is a green flash?

Schoolchildren holding letters spelling PANDIA

New names for 5 Jupiter moons

The naming suggestions in a contest – which ran from last February to April – ranged from the scholarly to the silly, these scientists said. We think you’ll like the winners.