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Deborah Byrd

Don’t miss the Geminids in 2017!

The 2017 Geminid meteor shower might be awesome! Peak mornings December 13 and 14. Moon near morning planets. Parent body – 3200 Phaethon – nearby.

Long-lasting moon halo

Halos around the sun or moon are caused by ice crystals, like those in high cirrus clouds. Sometimes you can’t see clouds, but – in these photos – you can.

Astronomers chart galaxy orbits in our Local Supercluster

“For the first time, we are not only visualizing the detailed structure of our Local Supercluster of galaxies, but we are also seeing how the structure developed over the history of the universe.”

What’ll happen when 3200 Phaethon sweeps past Earth?

This mysterious rock-comet is the parent body of this week’s Geminid meteor shower. It’ll brush closely past Earth on December 16, just a few nights after the Geminids’ peak. Will 2017 be a fantastic year for the Geminids?

California in flames

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the 2017 California wildfire season is the worst on record.

Last quarter moon is December 10

Watch for the last quarter moon Saturday night after midnight or Sunday morning. The moon will be showing us half of its lighted half, or day side.

All the illions from Cosmos, in order

Why? Because we love Carl Sagan.

Why brighter stars at this time of year?

No matter where you are on Earth on December, January and February evenings, you’re looking toward bright stars in our local spiral arm.

Asperitas clouds over Tenerife

Meet Earth’s newest named cloud, the asperitas cloud, 1st new addition to the International Cloud Atlas in over half a century.

Christmas lights and the king tide

Mimi Ditchie captured this photo at low tide on Monday – the day of the king tide at Pismo Beach, California – following Sunday’s supermoon.