Luna Shyr

It’s rare that astronomers declare news with great certainty, given the awesome scope of their work and the level to which they must rely on data gleaned from objects so far away that superlatives quickly run out. So Thursday’s announcement about the confirmation of water ice (as opposed to, say, carbon-dioxide or methane ice) in...

Photographer Christoph Malin says he’s not an office guy.  That’s good, because the time he spent milking the skies above La Palma, a volcanic island in the Spanish Canaries, means we get to enjoy a taste of astronomy paradise. Watching Malin’s time lapse, “Island in the Sky,” it’s easy to forgot how subtle sky movements...

  When the Moon slips between the Earth and Sun this week, Slovak astronomer Vojtech Rusin will be ready on a hotel balcony in Cairns, Australia to witness his 19th total solar eclipse.  StarStruck spoke with the National Geographic grantee, part of an international team, about what it takes to follow the stellar phenomenon. •...

  When Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, got a call from DC Comics about its latest Superman storyline, the famed astrophysicist saw an opportunity to make real science a part of superhero lore. He said to DC: How about I find you a real star that could be home to...

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … Superman’s home star! Astronomers call it LHS 2520, but thanks to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s collaboration with DC Comics, it’s getting top billing this week as Rao, the sun to Superman’s native planet, Krypton. Tyson, director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium, saw a chance to infuse fantasy...

Armchair astronomers take note: This space atlas is for you.  Yes, that kind of atlas—a series of maps and charts that evokes the ability to navigate a place, usually by ship or some sort of vehicle.  In this case all you need is imagination. Several years in the making, National Geographic’s Space Atlas features 47...

What places best describe humankind’s fascination with the universe?  Try Navajo star ceilings, the Temple of Isis in Egypt, or Stonehenge.  Maybe it’s Qing Dynasty instruments at the Beijing Ancient Observatory or mountaintop telescopes in Chile.  Austria even has a “starlight reserve” and a dark-sky oasis. These places are now recognized as astronomical heritage sites...

Not many people can say they’ve met the first man on the moon.  But mingle with astronomers gathered in Beijing for a conference and you’ll come across one or two—even at breakfast—who can reflect personally about Neil Armstrong. Australian Ronald Ekers, for one, worked on the radio telescope that picked up Armstrong’s heartbeat and other signals...

Isabella Rossellini has played a salmon, a duck, a squid—and now a bee. In a new series of short films that expand her body of educational work on the lives of animals, the actress and model imagined a conversation with bees to help create buzz about the plight of pollinators. Rossellini dons antennae and various...

I’m writing this by way of introduction as Victoria Jaggard, the founder and curator of Breaking Orbit, heads to new frontiers (see her post below).  We met, most appropriately, at an event at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and quickly discovered a mutual fondness for rockets and astronomy.  I’m excited to be joining...