EarthSky
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.

An artist’s conception of the slender pen-shaped Explorer 1 in orbit.

Today in science: Launch of Explorer 1

Can you believe it’s been 62 years since the United States launched its 1st satellite? Explorer 1 advanced the space race between the US and the Soviet Union. It led to the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts.

Which spiral arm of the Milky Way contains our sun?

We live in a seemingly nondescript neighborhood in the Milky Way galaxy, in a small spiral arm called the Orion Arm.

A crescent image of Uranus and Voyager 2 leaves the planet.

Today in science: Voyager 2 met Uranus

Voyager 2 swept closest to Uranus on this day 34 years ago. During its visit, the spacecraft sent data that revealed 2 new planetary rings, 10 new moons, radiation belts, and a very unusual magnetic field.

Lunar New Year 2020 falls on January 25

Lunar New Year 2020 falls on January 25 in Asia (January 24 in the west), beginning the Year of the Rat. China’s public holiday will be January 24–30. In Beijing this week, Chinese health officials expressed concerns about a coronavirus now spreading during this heavy travel season in Asia.

sky chart of Eridanus.

A winding river of stars called Eridanus

Why search for such a faint constellation? Only because it’s very beautiful. Plus seeing Eridanus can give you a kinship with stargazers from centuries ago.