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Editors of EarthSky

Why does the New Year begin on January 1?

Why does the New Year begin on January 1? The tradition stems from the festival of Janus, the Roman god of past and future.

2022 Quadrantid meteor shower to peak January 2-3

The Quadrantid meteor shower in 2022 coincides with a new moon, meaning there will be dark skies and a better chance of spotting meteors.

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2022

EarthSky's annual meteor shower guide gives you the information you need to enjoy a year's worth of meteors. Start with the Quadrantids in January.

Juno spacecraft’s 4 latest discoveries at Jupiter

Juno has been studying Jupiter and its moons since it arrived at the giant planet in 2016. Here are 4 of its newest discoveries, courtesy of NASA.

Latest sunrises late December and early January

For the northern half of Earth, the return of the light. The latest sunrises of the year come in late December and early January.

Webb Telescope launch December 25: Success!

NASA now says that - due to adverse weather - the Webb Telescope will launch no earlier than Christmas Day, December 25.

Personal solstices: EarthSky community photos

Personal solstices - photos from the EarthSky community around the world - showing what the December solstice means to them.

Why do pine trees smell good?

Pine trees - as well as spruce and fir, all Christmas tree favorites - produce chemicals called terpenes, giving them their special, distinctive scent.

What’s a safe distance from a supernova?

What's a safe distance from a supernova? To survive a supernova, Earth would have to be at least 50 light-years away from the exploding star.

Year’s shortest season starts at the December solstice

The year's shortest season - between the December solstice and March equinox - is about 89 days. It's 5 days shorter than the longest season.