EarthSky

What is earthshine?

Sometimes, you can glimpse a pale glow on the unlit part of the crescent moon in the west after sunset or in the east before sunrise. It’s called earthshine.

How the moon got its sunburn

Every object, planet or person traveling through space has to contend with the sun’s damaging radiation – and the moon has the scars to prove it.

Black hole found near Milky Way’s heart

It’s not supermassive, but only an intermediate-mass black hole, near the center of the Milky Way. It might be one of over 100 million quiet black holes lurking unseen in our galaxy.

A huge black bee next to a honeybee

Found: World’s biggest bee

Last seen in 1981 and thought lost to science, Wallace’s giant bee has been rediscovered in the forests of Indonesia.

Use Big Dipper to find North Star

The 2 outer stars in the Big Dipper’s bowl point to the North Star, aka Polaris. Give it a try.

NOAA announces the arrival of El Niño

This year’s El Niño is likely to be weak, with little influence on weather through early spring, say NOAA forecasters.

Rover spacecraft on reddish-brown landscape

Mars Opportunity rover ends its mission

The Mars Opportunity rover, built to last 90 days, has ended its mission after 15 years on the red planet.

Just for fun: Tour alien worlds

Some fun multimedia from NASA, including (free) Exoplanet Travel Bureau posters, cool 360-degree visualizations, and a journey into the life and death of planetary system.

Bubbles of brand new stars

This dazzling region of newly-forming stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud was captured by ESO’s Very Large Telescope.

When will the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies collide?

The Andromeda galaxy is the nearest large spiral to our Milky Way. Astronomers have suspected for some time it will eventually collide with our Milky Way. Now – thanks to the Gaia satellite – they know more.