EarthSky

Geminid meteors to peak this weekend

The shower is best around 2 a.m., but watch from late evening until dawn. The best morning is likely December 14. Mornings leading up to it might also offer some meteors as well, in the rich and reliable Geminid shower.

Come to know the Pleiades, or 7 Sisters

At this time of year, for all of us around the globe, the Pleiades star cluster culminates – reaches its highest point in the sky – around midnight.

What’s the birthstone for November?

Happy birthday November babies!  Your birthstone, the topaz, can be blue, pale green, yellow, pink, red, purple, brown and even black.

Bumpy, multi-colored ball.

Tycho supernova

New image of the Tycho supernova remnant from the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Thin orange blob stretched across a black background.

Spiral galaxy in profile

Hubble Telescope view of a spiral galaxy – called NGC 3717 – oriented sideways.

Zoom in on the Ghost Nebula

Nebula IC 63 – in the direction of our constellation Cassiopeia – is slowly dissipating under the influence of ionizing ultraviolet radiation from a hot, luminous variable star known as Gamma Cas.

Why leaves change color in fall

The vivid yellows and oranges of autumn leaves are there throughout spring and summer, but hidden.

a big ball, blue around the outside and pink in the middle.

New insights on Venus’ cloud-tops and super-rotation

Why does Venus’ upper atmosphere circle the planet in just 4 Earth-days, while the planet itself takes 243 Earth-days to spin once? Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft probed the mysterious “super-rotation” of Venus’ clouds.

Graphic showing whereabouts of Akatsuki spacecraft in orbit.

Venus to take center stage in October 2020 observation campaign

Launched in 2018, the BepiColombo mission will have the first of its 2 encounters with Venus – while on its way to Mercury – in October 2020. Coordinated observations at that time will involve 2 spacecraft and multiple ground-based telescopes. 

Learning to live on the moon … underwater

Astronaut teams practice living and working on the moon in the pool at at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab.