On Sunday morning, Jupiter and Mars were half a moon-diameter apart. Now the moon is sweeping past. Plus Mercury and Saturn are in conjunction this weekend. Photos here.
Neeraj Ladia in India wrote: "The great planetary alignment of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Mercury (top to bottom) along with the waning crescent moon, captured in the predawn sky of Jan. 14, 2018."
In 2018, the moon swings farthest from Earth for the year on January 15, only 2 weeks after coming closest to Earth for the year on January 1.
The moon's orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle. But it is very nearly circular, as the above diagram shows. Diagram by Brian Koberlein.
Where do stars we see at night come from? Newly confirmed streams of stars – thought to be coming to our Milky Way from other galaxies – suggest not all Milky Way stars were born here.
Color image of the Dark Energy Survey field, with color indicating the distance of stars. (Blue is closer, green is further away, red is even further away.) Several of the streams are visible as yellow streaks. Credit: Alex Drlica-Wagner (Fermilab), Nora Shipp (U. Chicago), and the DES Collaboration.
Astronomers looked back to a time only 800 million years after the Big Bang and found whirlpool shapes in small, very young galaxies.
A video simulation of rotating disc. Credit: R. Crain (LJMU) and J. Geach (U.Herts).
Plan ahead now for an awesome year of meteor-watching. Good news! In 2018, the year’s 2 most reliable showers – August Perseids and December Geminids – happen with little to no interference from the moon.
Scott Kuhn in Chatsworth, Georgia used a fisheye lens to create this image of a curved meteor. In the real sky, the meteor would have appeared in a straight line. Thanks, Scott!
An atmospheric scientist who studies the Arctic explains why – because of global warming – the U.S. may be in for longer cold spells in the winter.
In 2018, scientists hope to obtain the 1st-ever direct image of a black hole’s event horizon. They’re targeting the 4-million-solar-mass black hole at the heart of our Milky Way.
Physicists have argued strenuously that it was not possible that all quantum information could remain hidden within
the black hole when it shrunk to minute sizes. Simulated view of a black hole in front of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Image credit: Alain r/Wikimedia Commons
Astronomers and visualization specialists at NASA have just released this unprecedented, 3-dimensional, fly-through view of the Orion Nebula, a nearby star-forming region.
The Curiosity rover has made 2 new and interesting discoveries – the first about methane in Mars’ air and the other about stick-rock formations – both related the possibility of life.
MAHLI view of the unusual “tubes” or “sticks” seen by the Curiosity rover on sol 1922. Their origin is currently being debated. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS