EarthSky Voices
Angular hills of snow against a blue sky.

What’s the coldest Earth has ever been?

Our planet’s history includes episodes of cold so extreme that glaciers reached sea level in equatorial regions.

Two circular maps of the Earth with polar regions in the centers.

Astrophysicists design ‘radically different’ world map

You know the old problem of how to portray the round globe of Earth on a flat map? Now a trio of map experts has worked together to solve this problem. Their new map is 2-sided and round.

Sharks swim below and upside down white plastic bag floating in green water.

Hundreds of fish species, including many we eat, are consuming plastic

As more and more plastic trash permeates the oceans, microplastics are making their way into fish and shellfish, and potentially into humans.

A person scraping snow off a car and a person pushing a snowblower.

Has the polar vortex arrived? What is it?

The polar vortex is an enormous, 3-dimensional ring of winds that surrounds the North and South poles during each hemisphere’s winter. The polar vortex influences the jet stream, which can bring cold winter weather to the U.S. and Europe.

Earth from space with a ring of broken-up looking satellites and components around it.

How to prevent crashes between orbiting satellites

Thousands more satellites will soon orbit Earth. We need better rules to prevent space crashes.

Black background with one central white spot with spikes, and a tiny white dot on its left side.

How to see Sirius B

The sky’s brightest star – Sirius – is a double star. A small white dwarf called Sirius B, or the Pup, orbits the larger primary star. The Pup isn’t easy to spot, but it is possible. Here’s how.

A multitude of tiny lights on a dark purple background, in roiling, faint gaseous clouds.

Why is there something instead of nothing?

Why is there is a universe at all? The question is a challenging one because it seems perfectly possible that there might have been nothing whatsoever – no Earth, no stars, no galaxies, no universe.

minty green water and big ice blocks.

Earth is losing ice at a record rate

The rate at which ice is disappearing across the planet has been speeding up, by 65% since the 1990s, a survey of global ice loss using European Space Agency satellite data reveals.

Opinion: Biden administration must act fast to save migratory birds

On Trump’s way out of the White House, his administration demolished a law that protects migratory birds, putting over 1,000 species at risk. The Biden administration can still salvage it, but only if they act swiftly.

Will an iceberg twice the size of NYC break off Antarctica this year?

A crack on the Antarctic ice shelf grew dramatically in late 2020 into 2021. Scientists are watching to see if the rapidly accelerating crack will cause the shelf to rip apart before Antarctica’s sunlit summer season – going on now – comes to an end.