Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

137,584 subscribers and counting ...

See Earth in the Mars night sky

View larger. |Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

View larger. |Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMU

The Mars Curiosity rover turned its camera toward the horizon and snapped this photo of Earth shining in the Martian night sky. ‘Shining’ might be rather strong word. In the image, Earth is a faint white speck, top-center-left, just above the dim glow of twilight near the Martian landscape. Can you see it? If not, click inside the post to see an image with a pointer.

Touching NASA tributes to Leonard Nimoy’s passing

What better tribute?  Terry Virts in the International Space Station gives the vulcan salute.

What better tribute? Terry Virts in the International Space Station gives the vulcan salute.

American astronaut Terry Virts (@AstroTerry) – orbiting 250 miles (400 km) above Earth on the International Space Station – paid this fitting tribute via Twitter to actor Leonard Nimoy, who died on Friday, February 27, 2015 at the age of 83. Nimoy will forever be known as Mr. Spock from the original Star Trek series and many of the subsequent movies. The late actor’s home state of Massachusetts can be seen just to the right of Virts’ Vulcan salute. Click inside for more tributes.

Moon closest to Jupiter on March 2

2015-march-2-jupiter-moon-night-sky-chart

Tonight – March 2, 2015 – look for the brilliant waxing gibbous moon to pair up with the dazzling planet Jupiter as soon as darkness falls. As the Earth spins eastward beneath the starry heavens tonight, it’ll cause the moon and Jupiter to travel upward and westward, until the brilliant twosome reaches its high point in the sky at late evening. They’ll continue to move westward, to set in the west just before dawn.

What’s the birthstone for March?

Photo credit:

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Happy birthday to all you March babies! March has two birthstones – aquamarine and bloodstone.

Moon nears Jupiter on March 1

At the same time each evening, note the moon's change of position relative to the backdrop stars. The green line depicts the ecliptic -  pathway of the moon and planets.

At the same time each evening, note the moon’s change of position relative to the backdrop stars. The green line depicts the ecliptic – pathway of the moon and planets.

The bright waxing gibbous moon passes through a “stellar pathway” in late February/early March 2015, and will do so again toward the end of March 2015. Each month, as the moon journeys through the constellations of the Zodiac, it always swings to the south of the Gemini stars Castor and Pollux, and to the north of the star Procyon, the brightest in the constellation of Canis Minor the Lesser Dog.

What is the Zodiac?

March 2015 guide to the five visible planets

In early March, look for the moon near Jupiter.

In early March, look for the moon near Jupiter.

Three of the five visible planets are in good view in March 2015. Venus and Jupiter shine first thing at nightfall. Jupiter will be near the moon in early March, closest around March 2. Meanwhile, Saturn adorns the late night and predawn sky.

Slushy wave off coast of Nantucket

View larger. | Slushy waves on a Nantucket beach, February 20, 2015.  Photo by Jonathan Nimerfrosh.

Slushy waves on a Nantucket beach, February 20, 2015. Photo by Jonathan Nimerfroh.

As you well know if you live there, the eastern United States has been in a deep freeze throughout February, 2015. Wave after wave of ice and snowstorms have hit the region. Now, from a photographer and surfer in Nantucket, Jonathan Nimerfroh, we have this amazing photo from February 20, 2015 of an ocean wave, just before it freezes solid. He calls it a slurpee wave.

Watch Sunday spacewalk, last of three

NASA astronaut Terry, Virts Flight Engineer of Expedition 42 is seen working to complete a cable routing task while near the forward facing port of the Harmony module on the International Space Station. February 21, 2015. Image credit: NASA

NASA astronaut Terry, Virts Flight Engineer of Expedition 42 is seen working to complete a cable routing task while near the forward facing port of the Harmony module on the International Space Station. February 21, 2015. Image credit: NASA

On Sunday (March 1, 2015) two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will perform the last of Expedition 42’s scheduled spacewalks. The spacewalk will begin around 6:10 a.m. Central Time and is expected to last about 6 hours, 45 minutes. NASA Television coverage on Sunday will begin at 5 a.m. Central time. Watch here

Meteor shower at 40,000 feet

View larger. | Alpha Centaurid Meteor Shower @ 40,000 ft by Colin Legg Photography

Alpha Centaurid Meteor Shower @ 40,000 ft by Colin Legg Photography

Leave it to Colin Legg – one of the most amazing sky photographers we know – to catch a meteor shower from the window seat of an airplane. Colin wrote to EarthSky:

Valentines day (night), red eye flight back to Perth.

Amazingly, the Alpha Centaurid meteor shower was active!

Moon between Gemini stars and Procyon on February 28

2015-february-28-castor-pollux-procyon-night-sky-chart

Tonight’s bright waxing gibbous moon will be bright enough to erase many stars from the blackboard of night. Even so, three stars should be brilliant enough to withstand tonight’s moonlit glare – the Gemini stars, Castor and Pollux, plus Procyon the Little Dog Star. In late February and early March, the moon passes south of the Castor and Pollux, and north of Procyon, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Minor the Lesser Dog.