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Why are these biologists dressed up as whooping cranes?

A whooping crane costume worn by biologists. Image Credit: Steve Hillebrand, USFWS. A whooping crane costume worn by biologists. Image Credit:

Costumes aren’t just for Halloween. These biologists are dressed as whooping cranes to care for chicks that will eventually be released into the wild.

Exciting Rosetta space mission inspires a magical short film

Everything about the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission – which, in August, caught up to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and began moving in tandem with it – has been fantastic so far. And now – just weeks before Rosetta will send a lander to the surface of its comet – ESA and Platige Image have released a very good short film, called Ambition. It’s not a space documentary, or like any film about space exploration you’ve ever seen.

Three amazing feats of spiders

Halloween time is spider time. Three amazing spider skills you might not have known about. Like, did you know spiders can dance?

Lifeform of the week: Vampires are real!

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You might think twice about walking down that dark alley alone after learning about the nefarious habits of the vampire bat, squid and finch.

Moon and Mars again on October 28

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Tonight … watch as the waxing crescent moon and the planet Mars light up the southwest at nightfall on October 28. As evening deepens, the celestial twosome sinks westward and follows the sun beneath the horizon by mid-evening.

A week of solar flares at one giant sunspot

The bright light in the lower right of the sun shows an X-class solar flare on Oct. 26, 2014, as captured by NASA's SDO. This was the third X-class flare in 48 hours, which erupted from the largest active region seen on the sun in 24 years. Image credit: NASA/SDO

The bright light in the lower right of the sun shows an X-class solar flare on October 26, 2014, as captured by NASA’s SDO. Image credit: NASA/SDO

A giant active region on the sun erupted yesterday (October 26) with its sixth substantial flare since October 19. This is the third X-class flare in 48 hours, erupting from the largest active region seen on the sun in 24 years.

When is the next supermoon?

What most call a Blue Moon isn't blue in color. It's only Blue in name. This great moon photo from EarthSky Facebook friend Rebecca Lacey in Cambridge, Idaho.

Moon photo is from Rebecca Lacey in Cambridge, Idaho.

According to the definition of supermoon coined by Richard Nolle 30 years ago, the year 2015 has a total of six supermoons. They are the new moons of January, February and March and the full moons of August, September and October. The September 28, 2015 full moon will be the closest supermoon of 2015. It’ll also undergo a total lunar eclipse! Follow the links inside to learn about the supermoons of 2015.

Favorite scary weather scenes in horror movies

You know the scary movie where a crazed killer chases a person in an old, abandoned house. There’s aways a thunderstorm, right? Here my picks of favorite scary weather scenes in horror movies, starting with Frankenstein. How could the Frankenstein monster be born without a good thunderstorm with plenty of lightning?

Star of the week: Mirach is guide star to three galaxies

View larger. | Credit and Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis at perseus.gr

View larger. | The bright star in this image is Beta Andromedae, otherwise known as Mirach. Look more closely, and you’ll also see Mirach’s Ghost, a round, faint, fuzzy galaxy in the upper right of the photo. This galaxy, also called NGC 404, happens to be seen nearly along the line-of-sight to the star Mirach, which is a relatively bright star and makes photographs like this one a challenge. Credit and copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis at perseus.gr. Used with permission.

The star Mirach (Beta Andromedae) in the constellation Andromeda acts as the guide star to three different galaxies: M31 (Andromeda galaxy), M33 (Triangulum galaxy), and NGC 404. When you gaze at this star, it might occur to you that – while Mirach lies at a distance of only 200 light-years – it can aid in finding objects that are millions of light-years away.

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2014

Taurid meteor seen by EarthSky Facebook friend Forrest Boone on November 9, 2012 over North Carolina. Thanks, Forrest!

In 2014, the early November meteor showers will be mostly drowned in bright moonlight. Still, you might see a meteor from the South or North Taurid meteor shower streaking along in the light of the moon in the early part of the month. By mid-November the moon will be mostly out of the way for the annual Leonid shower. Follow the links inside to learn about meteor showers in 2014.