We use the beautiful photo above in honor of the upcoming June solstice – June 21 at 5:04 Universal time (12:04 a.m. Central Daylight Time). For the time zones to the west of North America’s Central Time Zone, the June solstice actually happens tonight, on June 20, at 11:04 p.m. MDT or 10:04 p.m. PDT. The photo is from one of our favorite sky photographers, Dan Bush.
It’s nearly summer solstice for us in the Northern Hemisphere. This solstice occurs at the instant the sun reaches its most northerly point on the celestial sphere, the imaginary sphere of stars surrounding Earth. If you stood inside the Stonehenge monument on the day of the northern summer solstice, facing north-east through the entrance towards a rough hewn stone outside the circle – known as the Heel Stone – you would see the sun rise above the Heel Stone, as illustrated in the image above. To see more photos of Stonehenge, click inside.
A billion-pixel view from the surface of Mars, from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, offers armchair explorers a way to examine one part of the Red Planet in great detail.
Spring floods across the Midwest are expected to contribute to a very large and potentially record-setting 2013 Gulf of Mexico “dead zone”, according to researchers.
Earth is the ocean planet, and 75% of our world is a relatively unchanging ocean of blue. But the remaining 25% of Earth’s surface is a dynamic green. Data from the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite is able to detect these subtle differences in greenness. Satellite data from April 2012 to April 2013 was used to generate these animations and images.
Is there a limit to how long humans can live? The Hayflick limit and discovery of telomeres – added to census data – suggest the that maximum human lifespan may be around 120 years. However, this evidence is not entirely convincing, and some researchers believe it might be possible – via research on life extension and continued research on good health practices and the abolishment of certain diseases – to learn what would enable us humans to substantially increase our lifespans.
A weak tornado formed right outside the Denver International Airport yesterday (June 18, 2013) in the afternoon hours. As of now, no one was directly impacted by this tornado, and very little damage was reported. It formed near the airport, but never directly hit the airport. The tornado produced roughly 97 mile per hour winds right around 2:30 p.m. local time in Denver. All flights were canceled or rerouted due to the storms in the area, and everyone was able to take shelter inside. Check out the amazing footage and photos of this tornado, inside!
June 19, 1900. On this date, the subway in Paris, France began operations on Line 1 after two years of construction that involved tearing up several streets of the famed city. It was the first subway system in France and was said to symbolize a country in the forefront technologically, worldwide.
Last night’s waxing gibbous moon over Gladstone, Missouri, by EarthSky Facebook friend Mark Myers. Thank you Mark! We’ve been getting lots of great moon images, perhaps in anticipation of the supermoon coming up on Saturday night (June 22-23).
The moon and the planet Venus rank as the second-brightest and third-brightest celestial bodies to bedeck the heavens after the sun. As soon as dusk gives way to darkness, use dazzling Venus to find the planet Mercury, and then use the bright waxing gibbous moon to find the golden planet Saturn (plus the sparkling blue-white star Spica).