People view the Northern Lights over Bamburgh Castle Beach Thursday in Northumberland, England. A powerful solar flare caused the aurora borealis to be visible farther south than usual. Josh Maidwell/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Josh Maidwell/Barcroft Media/Landov

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts a new TV series called Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey. It's an update of the influential 1980 PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Journey, hosted by Carl Sagan. Patrick Eccelsine/Fox hide caption

itoggle caption Patrick Eccelsine/Fox

A view of Venus, black dot at top center, passing in front of the sun during a transit in 2012. A quarter of Americans questioned failed to answer correctly the most basic questions on astronomy. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

About 50,000 years ago, a meteorite struck earth east of present-day Flagstaff, leaving this crater as its calling card. Shane.torgerson/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

itoggle caption Shane.torgerson/Wikimedia Commons

This artist's impression shows the surroundings of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the active galaxy NGC 3783 in the southern constellation of Centaurus. M. Kornmesser/ESO hide caption

itoggle caption M. Kornmesser/ESO