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Fox takes a nap on Ottawa city bus

An OC Transpo employee made the cute discovery at a bus parking garage on Industrial Avenue in Ottawa's east end on Sunday morning.

Photo via #busfox via the Twitterverse.

This little fox was found sleeping on one of the back seats of an Ottawa city bus Sunday morning. Cute, eh? Apparently, the bus had been parked inside a garage for maintenance, and the fox got inside through an open door. Employees of the bus company couldn’t help but snap a few pics, which have been making a big splash on Twitter this week.

Why can’t scientists accurately predict a hurricane season?

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Mitch, the second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. Mitch caused more than 10,000 deaths across Central America.  Image via Wikimedia Commons/ NCAR.

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Mitch, the second-deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record. Mitch caused more than 10,000 deaths across Central America. Image via Wikimedia Commons and NCAR.

A new study from NCAR suggests that there is an internal variability in the way that hurricanes develop – minor variations in the atmosphere, too small for seasonal forecast models to capture – which can create major differences from one storm season to the next and which make accurate seasonal hurricane predictions difficult. They called it “nature’s roadblock to hurricane prediction.”

Will the Andromeda galaxy someday collide with our Milky Way?

Image Credit: NASA, ESA et al.

This image represents Earth’s night sky in 3.75 billion years. The Andromeda galaxy (left) will fill our field of view then, astronomers say, as it heads toward a collision with our Milky way galaxy. Image Credit: NASA, ESA et al.

It’s a question people ask us… Will our home galaxy someday collide with the next-nearest spiral galaxy, in the direction of the constellation Andromeda? And if so, when?

Record high global temp in June 2014 follows record warmth in May

View larger. | Image credit: NOAA

View larger. | Image credit: NOAA

According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest for June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 38th consecutive June and 352nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for June was in 1976 and the last below-average global temperature for any month was February 1985.

Spectacular! Moon and Venus before dawn July 24

2014-july-23-venus-mercury-moon-night-sky-chart

Get up an hour or more before sunrise Thursday (July 24, 2014) to view a beautiful morning tableau. The waning crescent moon and planet Venus – second-brightest and third-brightest heavenly bodies, respectively, after the sun – will be together in the eastern morning twilight. The darkened portion of the crescent moon might be shining dimly in earthshine.

Camelopardalids: Just a few centuries late in catching a good show

Frame-by-frame development of a Camelopardalid on 2014 May 24 at 01h58m08s UT. Original recording by Peter C. Slansky; compilation by Jim Albers and Peter Jenniskens.

Frame-by-frame development of a Camelopardalid on 2014 May 24. Scientists who studied the meteors said they ‘dispersed into a cloud of dust.’ Illustration via Peter C. Slansky, Jim Albers and Peter Jenniskens.

Want to watch meteors? You’re in luck. Summer meteor season 2014 is just starting.

The SETI Institute has released new information about the Camelopardalid meteor shower. Remember the Camelopardalids? It was that meteor shower last May – the result of a close passage of Comet 209P/LINEAR – that astronomers predicted would be spectacular … except it wasn’t. Now these same astronomers are saying that, although the weak display of Camelopardalids disappointed backyard observers, this never-before-seen shower has them excited. Sigh. Okay, here’s what they say.

What to expect as Rosetta spacecraft approaches its comet

Comet 67P on July 14, 2014

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on July 14, 2014

Rosetta’s scientific imaging system captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last week, on July 14, 2014, from a distance of approximately 12,000 kilometers (8,000 miles). But the best is yet to come. Expect the next image last this week. By August, the Rosetta spacecraft will be moving side by side with its comet. In November, it’ll send a lander to the comet’s surface!

Rising Milky Way, laser light show, Singapore, July 21

The Milky Way, and a laser light show, over Singapore July 21, 2014.  Photo by Justin Ng.  For more about this photo, visit Justin Ng's blog.

The Milky Way, and a laser light show, over Singapore. Photo by Justin Ng.

Justin Ng captured this beautiful scene last night (July 21, 2014) It’s another of his “impossible” shots – that is, photos that inspire more astrophotographers in light-polluted cities to unveil the beauty of the elusive Milky Way galaxy.

Lifeform of the week: Sea stars

I’m not sure exactly when starfish began insisting on being called “sea stars”, but somewhere along the line they got it into their heads (or central disks perhaps, they don’t have heads per se) that since they are not actually fish, they should no longer be addressed as such. This despite the fact that prairie dogs and sea horses are graciously carrying on with their misleading monikers to spare society the trouble of learning new names.

Reservoir of molten rock under Yellowstone is 2.5 times bigger than thought

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. Image Credit: Neal Herbert, National Park Service.

Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. Image Credit: Neal Herbert, National Park Service.

Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area is the site of some of the most powerful volcanic eruptions to have ever occurred on Earth. Thanks to new seismic sensors that have been installed in this area over the past decade, scientists now have better tools to visualize what lies beneath the surface. The latest string of research has found that the reservoir of magma – molten or semi-molten rock – under Yellowstone is about 2.5 times bigger than previously thought.