Deborah Byrd
Scientists in a control room, looking anxious

Japan’s Hayabusa2 lands on asteroid Ryugu

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft touched down briefly and successfully on asteroid Ryugu Friday morning, 200 million miles (300 million km) from Earth. It successfully fired a bullet into the asteroid to puff up dust for sample collection.

Rosetta’s comet sculpted by stress

The Rosetta space mission revealed a comet as 2 icy balls apparently stuck together billions of years ago. Now scientists say the comet’s double-lobed structure guided its evolution.

IAU names Chang’e-4 landing site on moon’s far side

The Chinese spacecraft Chang’e-4 made history earlier this year, when it became the first earthly spacecraft to land on the moon’s far side. Now astronomers have named its landing site.

Rainbow and anticrepuscular rays over English coast

“A delightful rainbow which particularly caught my eye as it framed the anticrepuscular rays on the horizon,” said photographer Alec Jones.

Earth’s atmosphere extends beyond moon

In fact, these researchers said, the moon flies through Earth’s outermost atmosphere, called its geocorona.

Canopus: Sky’s 2nd-brightest star

Canopus is the 2nd-brightest star in the sky, and it’s easy to spot on February evenings, if …

Firefall at Yosemite National Park

Around this time of year – if the western horizon stays clear – the last few minutes of daylight fall perfectly on Horsetail Falls, making it glow as if on fire. Photographers call it the firefall …

Zodiacal light glowing pyramid after dark

From the Northern Hemisphere, look after true darkness falls for the elusive zodiacal light. It appears as a hazy pyramid of light extending up from the sunset point. Southern Hemisphere? Look before dawn!

Tides, and the pull of the moon and sun

Expect higher-than-usual tides a day or two after the February 19, 2019, full supermoon.

Plum Tree Blossom Festival in Tokyo

Tokyo’s plum trees start blooming when it’s still chilly, usually during February. The plum in Japanese culture symbolizes hope and vitality. The blossoms are a sign spring will come!