Deborah Byrd
Stone walls and structures.

Egyptologists unearth a 3,000-year-old ‘lost golden city’

The long-sought “lost golden city” of Aten has been found near Luxor, Egypt, in the Valley of Kings. “The mission expects to uncover untouched tombs filled with treasures,” the scientists said.

The round disk of the sun, with sunspots crossing it in 2 bands, one in the northern and one in the southern hemisphere.

100 days of sunspots

A blend of a total of 100 images showing every sunspot that appeared on the sun from December 25, 2020, to April 3, 2021.

Purple glow and spots of light on a black background.

An image of a piece of the cosmic web

An international team of astronomers has mapped a piece of the cosmic web without using bright quasars for the first time. They did it by turning a powerful instrument to a single region of the sky for hundreds of hours.

April 2021 guide to the bright planets

April 2021 showcases 3 bright planets. Mars is the only easy-to-see bright planet in the evening sky. Jupiter and Saturn adorn the early morning hours. Mercury and Venus hover too close to the sun’s glare for easy viewing.

Animation of the orbits of Earth and Apophis showing how often they cross each other.

Earth is safe from asteroid Apophis for the next 100 years

Apophis’ flyby in early March 2021 enabled astronomers to conclude there’s no chance this asteroid will strike Earth anytime soon. “A 2068 impact is not in the realm of possibility anymore,” one scientist said, “and our calculations don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years.”

Three curved, dotted sun tracks across the sky from various heights above the horizon down to the horizon.

All you need to know: March equinox 2021

Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere at the equinox on March 20, 2021, at 09:37 UTC. At the same moment, the Southern Hemisphere enters the autumn season.

Sky chart of Orion the Hunter.

Westward shift of Orion and all the stars

As Earth makes its grand tour around the sun each year, the constellations all shift westward in our sky. Orion is a good one to notice.

A tangle of stars in Berenices’ Hair

Berenice’s Hair – aka Coma Berenices – requires a dark sky to be seen. But it’s worth the effort, a wonderful star cluster!

A thick ring of orange dust, superimposed on the orbits of Earth and Mars in oblique diagram of solar system.

Do Mars dust storms cause the mysterious zodiacal light?

The zodiacal light is a strange pyramid of light that extends from the eastern or western horizon, before dawn or as true darkness falls. It was known to stem from dust moving in the plane of our solar system. The Juno spacecraft has found that Mars might be the source of the dust.

Pyramid-shaped hazy band of zodiacal light, next to a bright section of the starry Milky Way.

It’s time to watch for the zodiacal light

The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon. This is a good time of the year to see it in the evening from the Northern Hemisphere. Southern Hemisphere, look before dawn!