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Deneb, brightest star in the constellation Cygnus the Swan

Here is the Summer Triangle asterism - three bright stars in three different constellations - as photographed by EarthSky Facebook friend Susan Jensen in Odessa, Washington.  Thank you, Susan, for your excellent and beautiful work!

Summer Triangle asterism – three bright stars in three different constellations – as photographed by Susan Jensen in Odessa, Washington.

Notice the star Deneb here. At well over 1,000 light-years away, this star is one of the most distant we can see with the eye alone. It’s also part of not one, but two famous star patterns. Follow the links inside to learn more.

Central U.S. inundated with heavy rain

Some rainfall totals on May 23-24, 2015. Image Credit: 13WMAZ Weather

The month of May 2015 has become the wettest May ever recorded for several cities including Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Wichita Falls. Over the past weekend (May 23-24), several areas across Texas and Oklahoma experienced flash flooding that covered parking lots and turned streets into raging rivers. Houses and vehicles were swept away and hundreds of homes were damaged as rivers rose significantly, at times several feet in a matter of minutes. At least three people have died. More details inside.

Most dramatic music video ever

Recorded live by the doom metal band Hamferð during the March 20, 2015 total eclipse of the sun above the village of Kvívík in the Faroe Islands.

An octopus senses light with its skin

An octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda.

An octopus is a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda. New research shows that octopuses can change skin color in response to light. Image via MentalFloss. 

Well known for their intelligence, flexibility and dexterity – as well as their ability to change the color, patterning, and texture of their skin – octopuses are masters of camouflage. New research shows that the skin of an octopus does more. It actually can sense and respond to light directly, without input from the eyes or brain.

This date in science: Kennedy ignites dreams of moon

May 25, 1961. On this date, President John F. Kennedy gave a stirring speech before a joint session of Congress, in which he declared his intention to focus U.S. efforts on landing humans on the moon within a decade. His words ignited the work of a decade, in achieving the dream of a moon landing. Among other things, he said:

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.

Full text of Kennedy’s speech inside.

Starglobe

Milky Way on a pedestal, by a photographer who loves it. Details on how Paul Wilson created this image, inside.

First quarter moon and Regulus on May 25

The moon and planets are always found on or near the ecliptic - Earth's orbital plane projected onto the dome of sky.  By drawing an imaginary from Venus through Jupiter, you can locate the star Regulus throughout May and June 2015.

By drawing an imaginary from Venus through Jupiter, you can locate the star Regulus throughout May and June 2015.

Tonight – May 25, 2015 – the moon will be at or near its first quarter phase, and near the star Regulus, as darkness falls. Don’t mistake the dazzling planet Jupiter for Regulus, however. Regulus, though a 1st-magnitude star, pales next to Jupiter. Regulus shines more closely to tonight’s first quarter moon than Jupiter does. Meanwhile, Venus is the brightest object – besides the moon – up after sunset.

Proxima Centauri, our sun’s nearest neighbor

Hubble Space Telescope image of Proxima Centauri, the closest known star to the sun.  Read more about this image.

Hubble Space Telescope image of Proxima Centauri, the closest known star to the sun. Read more about this image. Image via ESA/Hubble & NASA

Proxima Centauri, one of three stars in the Alpha Centauri system, is our sun’s nearest known neighbor among the stars. It’s 4.22 light-years away.

Moon near Regulus, heart of Leo, on May 24

2015-may-24-25-moon-jupiter-regulus

Look for the moon as soon as darkness falls on May 24, 2015. The nearby point of light will be Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.

Two owls

Janet Furlong in Culpeper, Virginia captured this image of two screech owls on May 15, 2015.

Janet Furlong in Culpeper, Virginia captured this image of two screech owls on May 15, 2015.

Looks like screech owls like to snuggle, too.