Deborah Byrd

How many supermoons in 2020?

We’ll enjoy a “season” of 3 full moon supermoons on March 9, April 8 and May 7, 2020. Then we’ll have a “season” of 3 new moon supermoons on September 17, October 16 and November 15, 2020. Supermoon-o-mania, here.

Achernar marks the end of the River

The bright, southerly star Achernar marks the end of the River in the constellation Eridanus. Many at northerly latitudes make a game of trying to catch a glimpse of it.

Dark blue circle speckled with white.

Astronomers date an ancient Milky Way collision

The Gaia-Enceladus dwarf galaxy slammed into our Milky Way 11.5 billion years ago. It added the mass of 50 billion suns to the Milky Way. Grand names and big numbers! Now new knowledge of this collision comes from a single bright star visible in Southern Hemisphere skies.

These 2 outbound comets are likely from another solar system

Hyperbolic comets fly through our solar system at high speed before heading out to interstellar space, never to return. A new study from astronomers in Japan identifies 2 hyperbolic comets that likely originated outside our solar system.

Artist's concept of swirling waves.

It’s probably nothing: Gravitational wave burst detected near Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse has dimmed recently, prompting some to wonder if it’s about to explode. An explosion might trigger a gravitational wave burst. Betelgeuse is still there. The nearby gravitational wave burst probably means nothing for this star. Still … 

What is a full moon?

Full moon happens when the moon is most opposite the sun for any given month. The next full moon is February 9 at 07:33 UTC.

See the Unicorn on dark January nights

Within a triangle of 3 bright stars – hidden in between the many bright and glittering stars visible at this time of year – you’ll find the constellation of Monoceros the Unicorn.

A little blog with 4 "feet."

Team builds the 1st living robots

The scientists call them “xenobots.” They are tiny living robots assembled from the cells of frogs. Their creators promise advances from drug delivery to toxic waste clean-up.

Crab Nebula: Visualize an exploded star

A new NASA video combines visible, infrared and X-ray views of the famous Crab Nebula, a star that exploded into view in our sky 1,000 years ago.

Rippling ice and storms at Mars’ north pole

This image is part of a wider system of depressions that spiral outward from the very center of Mars’ north pole. Seen in context, you can see rippling troughs that curve and bend and slice outwards from the pole counterclockwise.