The Geminid meteor shower is always reliable, but might be extra special in 2017. Peak morning is likely December 14. Be sure to watch for the moon near the morning planets!
Wesley Loftis in Clarksville, Virginia caught this Gemind meteor on the morning of December 13, 2017. By all reports, last night was a good display. The morning of December 14 should be even better!
The report shows the warming trend that’s transforming the Arctic region is persisting. The Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades, say scientists.
Icebergs, Ilulisat, Vestgronland, Greenland. Image via Greenland Travel/Flickr.
The intense wildfires in southern California are triggering air quality alerts. What do health experts know about how inhaling smoke affects human health?
Flames and smoke shroud State Route 33 as a wildfire burns in Ventura, California, December 5, 2017. Image via The Conversation/Daniel Dreifuss AP.
A 245-million-year-old fossil horseshoe crab, recently discovered in Idaho, has been named Vaderlimulus after Star Wars’ Darth Vader. It’s easy to see why.
“For the first time, we are not only visualizing the detailed structure of our Local Supercluster of galaxies, but we are also seeing how the structure developed over the history of the universe.”
Orbits of galaxies in the Local Supercluster. Our home Milky Way galaxy (MW, yellow) and our companion Andromeda galaxy (M31, red) are participating in a downward flow away from a vast underdense region called the Local Void and toward the Virgo Cluster, represented by the purple spherecircle. Most galaxies between us and the Virgo Cluster will eventually fall into the cluster but we lie slightly beyond the capture zone. Image via R. Brent Tully/ Institute for Astronomy.
December’s Geminid meteor shower radiates from the constellation Gemini the Twins. To see it, look east in mid-evening or overhead by about 2 a.m.
Geminid meteors radiate from near star Castor in Gemini.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the 2017 California wildfire season is the worst on record.
Thick smoke was streaming from several fires in southern California when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a natural-color image in the afternoon on December 5, 2017.
The largest of the blazes—the fast-moving Thomas fire in Ventura County—had charred more than 65,000 acres (24,000 hectares or 94 square miles), according to Cal Fire. Smaller smoke plumes from the Creek and Rye fires are also visible.
Watch for the last quarter moon Saturday night after midnight or Sunday morning. The moon will be showing us half of its lighted half, or day side.
Zefri Besar in Brunei Darussalam caught the last quarter moon on the morning of June 17, 2017, just after midnight.
Why? Because we love Carl Sagan.