Moon near Saturn and Mars in early August. Closest supermoon of 2014 on August 10. Jupiter and Venus have closest conjunction of any two planets in 2014 before dawn on August 18. All in all … August 2014 is a wonderful month for skywatching!
More than 4 billion years ago, giant asteroid impacts melted, mixed and buried the surface of Earth
At nightfall, look in your southern sky for the bright ruddy star that is called the Scorpion’s Heart – Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius. Antares is always up on summer evenings. It’s a bright red star known for twinkling rapidly. If you have binoculars, sweep for an object near Antares on the sky’s dome. This object is called M4, and it’s a globular star cluster located just one degree to the west of Antares.
Climate extremes are here to stay, say researchers.
The video above, from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California, tells the story of the creature scientists have dubbed “Octomom,” a deep-sea octopus observed to guard her eggs for nearly 4.5 eggs. It’s the longest egg-brooding period of any known animal.
The European Space Agency’s Venus Express spacecraft has now been boosted back into a higher orbit following a month of maneuvers that let the craft venture so near Venus that it was aerobraking, or slowing down due to drag from the planet’s thick atmosphere. The maneuver was tried after eight years of orbiting Venus, with the craft’s propellant running low.
Orion the Hunter appears each Northern Hemisphere winter as a mighty constellation arcing across the south during the evening hours. But, before dawn in late July and early August, you can spot Orion in the east. Thus Orion has been called “the ghost of the shimmering summer dawn.” The Hunter rises on his side, with his three Belt stars – Mintaka, Alnitak and Alnilam – pointing straight up.
Which is brighter – Perseid fireballs or a supermoon? You’ll find out this August as the year’s biggest, brightest full moon arrives at the peak of the Perseid meteor shower.
Astronomers have contemplated planets forming in single flat disks, as in our own solar system, for decades. Misaligned planet disks in a binary star system? Weird! But now they’ve found the best example so far, in the course of conducting a survey of binary stars with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.
An international team of scientists aboard the icebreaker Oden – currently north of eastern Siberia, in the Arctic Ocean – is working primarily to measure methane emissions from the Arctic seafloor. On July 22, 2014, only a week into their voyage, the team reported “elevated methane levels, about 10 times higher than background seawater.”