Deborah Byrd
An illustration of the spiral-shaped flat disk of the Milky Way, with arcs of star streams extending above and below the galactic disk.

Theia 456 is a stretched-out stream of sibling stars

A close look at the “stellar stream” known as Theia 456 finds it contains contains 468 stars born at the same time.

SDO spies its 1st lunar transit of 2021

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has been continuously observing the sun since its launch in 2010. From its vantage point above Earth, it sees the moon pass in front of the sun 2 to 5 times a year.

A tiny black dot at the center of a swirling disk. A jet appears to emanate from the dot, perpendicular to the disk.

A new record for the most distant quasar

Astronomers have a new measurement for the distance of quasar J0313-1806, making it the new record-holder for the most distant quasar known. We’re seeing it just 670 million years after the Big Bang, or more than 13 billion light-years away.

Capture a glimpse of the Unicorn

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.

View from orbit of a volcano puffing out a plume of steam, ash and rock fragments.

View from space: An outburst from Popocatépetl

Popocatépetl volcano near Mexico City has been erupting since January 2005. On January 6, Mexico’s National Center for Prevention of Disasters, which continuously monitors the volcano, warned people not to approach due to an outburst that caused falling ash and rock fragments.

When will the Age of Aquarius begin?

Astronomers and astrologers may agree that the Age of Aquarius starts when the vernal equinox point moves out of constellation Pisces and into Aquarius. But when will that be? There’s no definitive answer.

Moon swings by the star Antares and the dazzling planet Venus in the January 2021 morning sky.

Watch for Venus, Antares and the moon before sunup January 9, 10 and 11

Venus, Antares, and the moon before sunup.

Isaac Newton.

Happy birthday to Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton, born on January 4, 1643, discovered the laws of motion and other principles that laid the foundation of physics and astronomy.

Exceedingly thin crescent moon on an orange twilight background.

What is a waning crescent moon?

A waning crescent moon can be found in the east before sunrise. It’s waning toward new moon, when the moon will be between Earth and the sun.

Crescent moon shot with a blue filter, so that the darkened portion of the moon looks blue.

What is a waxing crescent moon?

A waxing crescent moon shines in the west after sunset. It quickly follows the sun below the western horizon.