Deborah Byrd

Today in science: The Chelyabinsk meteor

On February 15, 2013, a small incoming asteroid created a meteor – brighter than the sun – over Russia. It exploded in the air over the city of Chelyabinsk.

Milky Way ascending before dawn

This is the time of year when – after a hiatus behind the sun – the center of the Milky Way returns to our sky shortly before sunup.

For you, Valentine: 10 reasons we fall in love

On this Valentine’s Day 2019, what the world of science suggests about the mystery we call love.

Moon in Winter Circle February 14 and 15

The February 14 and 15 waxing gibbous moon shines inside the huge pattern of stars known as the Winter Circle. Identify this pattern tonight and, when the moon moves away, notice these bright stars’ different colors.

The green glow of northern lights on the horizon with a bright meteor streaking above.

Time to watch for spring fireballs

The rate of fireballs – or bright meteors – has been observed to go up in the Northern Hemisphere by as much as 30% from February through April. Will it this year?

ExoMars rover named for Rosalind Franklin

The European Space Agency has named its life-seeking ExoMars rover – due to launch in 2020 – for Rosalind Franklin, a British chemist who helped reveal the mysteries of DNA.

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.

Bird friends

The best spots for watching egrets in California are said to be the central and northern wetlands. Here’s a Great Egret and Snowy Egret that like to fish together.

For those at southerly latitudes, Canopus!

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s time to look for Canopus. Far-northern skywatchers sometimes travel southward in winter, for a glimpse of Canopus above the southern horizon.

Tall pine tree silhouettes, with stars shining behind.

Pine tree silhouettes and stars

The pine-forested mountains of Tonto National Forest in Arizona are a wonderful place to view the stars, wrote William Eager.

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