EarthSky

Fifty years of data show spring and fall bird migrations changing

Bird-banding data in North America shows a spring migration pattern that’s become progressively earlier with each of the last 5 decades, and a fall migration that’s lasting longer than 50 years ago.

Artist's concept of a reddish, dusty galaxy.

Why did this galaxy blaze with stars, then become inactive?

Astronomers report on the very distant galaxy XMM-2599. It existed when the universe was very young, yet contains some 300 billion stars. It must have formed stars at a very rapid rate and then stopped. Why?

Today in science: Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto

On this date 90 years ago, Clyde Tombaugh was searching for a 9th planet when he discovered Pluto. In doing so, he unknowingly opened the door to the vast “3rd zone” of our solar system, known today as the Kuiper Belt.

Animated GIF image of 2020BX12 and its satellite.

Moon found orbiting near-Earth asteroid

Isn’t this cool? Scientists at the famous Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico made this rare find just days after resuming post-earthquake operations. It’s a moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid 2020 BX12.

VLT sees surface of dim Betelgeuse

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope is in northern Chile. Astronomers used it to capture the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The new images show how the apparent shape of this star is changing.

Snow-covered mountaintop with people.

Himalayan glacier shows evidence of start of Industrial Revolution

Human beings altered one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas hundreds of years before a person ever set foot there, new research has found.

Today is Chuck Yeager’s 97th birthday

Chuck Yeager, first pilot to break the sound barrier, personified what it meant to have “the right stuff.”

February birthstone is the amethyst

Are you a February baby? Here’s some cool info about your birthstone, the amethyst. Plus pics!

Groundhog Day is an astronomy holiday

Groundhog Day is what’s called a cross-quarter day, a day about midway between a solstice and an equinox. Groundhog Day in history and culture here.

Dignitaries from the Groundhog Club’s “Inner Circle read Phil's prediction from a scroll.

How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil?

Every February 2, a weather-prognosticating groundhog in Pennsylvania tells us if we should expect 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring. Should we believe him? Phil’s track record here.