EarthSky

Use the Big Dipper to find the Little Dipper

Polaris – aka the North Star – marks the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. The 2 outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper always point to Polaris.

Two concentric rings around a star, seen by the ALMA telescope.

Here’s a solar system being born

Astronomers have spied 2 rings of dust around a young star, DM Tau. The image shows what our own solar system might have looked like as its planets were forming, 4.6 billion years ago.

What happened before the Big Bang?

How can we get an inkling of what existed before our universe began? Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics suggest a way.

What exactly is twilight?

Twilight is that magical time between daylight and darkness. Astronomers, the experts on nighttime, recognize 3 twilights.

Flat, heart-shaped aspen leaves with thin, white aspen trunks in background.

How aspen leaves could save Mars rovers

Aspen trees – fondly called Quakies by some – have trembling, quivering leaves. Now those leaves have inspired an energy-harvesting mechanism that might rescue dust-laden rovers on Mars.

A grid placed across a portion of the sky.

Astronomers discover 83 more supermassive black holes

Astronomers used a cutting-edge camera mounted on one of the world’s largest telescopes to discover 83 new quasars – powered by central, supermassive black holes – in the very early universe.

Born in March? Here’s your birthstone

Happy birthday to all you March babies. Your month has 2 birthstones – the aquamarine and the bloodstone.

Why beware the Ides of March?

The Ides of March are March 15. We in modern times probably wouldn’t know about them – or know we’re supposed to beware of them – if it weren’t for William Shakespeare.

Today in science: Uranus discovered by accident

William Herschel spotted Uranus in 1781 during a routine survey of the stars. It was the 1st new planet found since ancient times.

How can I see a green flash?

It’s said that once you’ve seen a green flash, you’ll never go wrong in matters of the heart. Here’s all you need to know to be able to see one, plus great pics!