Deborah Byrd

What’s a penumbral eclipse of the moon?

During a penumbral eclipse, observant people in the right spot on Earth will look up and notice a dark shading on the moon’s face. Others look and notice nothing at all.

Amazing June for noctilucent clouds

For the northern part of Earth, the season for seeing noctilucent clouds – clouds that shine at night – typically begins in June. This June has been particularly fine for seeing these electric-blue clouds. Photos and video here.

All you need to know: June solstice 2019

It’s nearly the June solstice! Longest day for the Northern Hemisphere. Shortest day for the Southern Hemisphere. Details here.

Alphecca, the jewel in the Northern Crown

Alphecca. Gemma. Alpha Coronae Borealis or simply Alpha Cor Bor. They’re all names for one star – the brightest star in the constellation Northern Crown.

Earth and Jupiter closest on June 12

Earth flies between Jupiter and the sun on June 10, 2019. But the giant planet will be closest to us on June 12. Why?

A bright round full moon, with the bright dot of Jupiter nearby, and 4 pinpricks of light aligned in space near Jupiter, along the giant planet's equator.

How to see Jupiter’s moons

With Jupiter now at its closest to Earth, turn binoculars or a telescope on the giant planet for a glimpse of its 4 largest moons.

Wide, symmetrical image of Milky Way arcing above a river.

Andromeda, Jupiter, Milky Way over Montana

We’re now in the middle of the best time of year to see Jupiter, and it’s near the starry arc of the Milky Way. Enjoy this panoramic image from John Ashley in Montana.

We go between the sun and Jupiter June 10

Opposition on June 10 marks the middle of the best time of year to see Jupiter. The planet shines at its brightest best in Earth’s sky. It’s also out all night long, rising at sunset and setting at sunrise.

Iridescent cloud? Or circumhorizon arc?

It’s easy to confuse these 2 elusive, colorful, beautiful daytime sky phenomena. How can you tell the difference?

Artist's concept: swirling gas clouds and a hint of a central black hole jet.

ALMA spies a cool gas ring around our Milky Way’s central black hole

New observations by the ALMA telescope in Chile have revealed a never-before-seen disk of cool, interstellar gas wrapped around Sagittarius A*, the giant black hole at the center of our galaxy.