A team of geologists have uncovered evidence that an asteroid impact on Earth 66 million years ago accelerated huge Indian volcanic eruptions – known as the Deccan Traps – for hundreds of thousands of years. The researchers suggest that, together, these planet-wide catastrophes led to the extinction of many land and marine animals, including the dinosaurs.
Time will be 7 and 9 p.m. EDT on October 7. Minutes after launch, the rocket will deploy four sub-payloads that will create a blue-green and red cloud.
October’s Draconid meteor shower – sometimes called the Giacobinids – radiates from the fiery mouth of the northern constellation Draco the Dragon. Because the radiant is located so far north on the sky’s dome, this shower favors northerly latitudes (for example, U.S., Canada, Europe, northern Asia). In 2015, the evenings of October 8 and 9 will probably be the peak dates.
Draconids, in early October, are usually a sleeper, but watch out if the Dragon awakes! Then watch for Orionids before dawn on the mornings around October 22.
The long-lasting South Taurid meteor shower (September 10 to November 20) may produce a “swarm” of fireballs this month or early next month. Watch for them.
For us sci fi fans, the images released this week from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are a thrill. These are the real-life views of places on Mars where fictional stranded astronaut Mark Watney – from the book and new Hollywood movie The Martian – undergoes his many trials.
On October 6, 1995, astronomers announced the discovery of the first planet in orbit around a distant sunlike star. This planet is designated as 51 Pegasi b, and it’s what’s known today as a hot Jupiter.
Get up before sunrise on October 7 and you can’t miss the moon and the sky’s two brightest planets adorning the predawn/dawn sky. From top to bottom, the celestial line-up features the moon, Venus and Jupiter – the brightest, second-brightest and third-brightest celestial bodies of nighttime, respectively.
If you want to imagine standing on the surface of the Red Planet Mars … look at this. Here’s what you’d see if you were riding aboard the Curiosity rover on Mars, right now.
Roads washed out. People trapped in cars. Seven deaths as of Sunday evening. And it’s still raining, but the rain should taper off by Monday night.