Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.
Analysis of data from the Gaia satellite shows a powerful burst of star formation – a stellar baby boom – in our Milky Way galaxy 2 to 3 billion years ago. This single burst might have created half the stars in the galaxy’s flat disk.
From the Northern Hemisphere now, the plane of the Milky Way is as parallel to your horizon as it can be, in early evening. Just wait. Around midnight, the starry band of the Milky Way will begin ascending in your eastern sky.
The 1st quarter moon comes on May 12 at 1:12 UTC. At European and American time zones, you’ll find it high up at sunset on May 10 and 11. It appears nearly or completely half-illuminated, like half a pie.
Casual observers rarely see a moon within 24 hours of new moon. But observers who have the right conditions, and are watching carefully – and those using telescopes or binoculars – can see much younger moons.