From a giant tortoise to a tiny beetle and an early hominid, this year’s top 10 new species list contains some exciting finds.
A NASA animation from May 17-19, 2016 shows a coronal hole, a low-density area in the sun’s hot outer atmosphere, or corona.
These past weeks have been a fabulous time to view Mars, which swept closest to Earth on Mars 30. Best photos from the EarthSky community!
We got this question:
Which phase of the moon would be best for stargazing, and why?
And the answer is … it depends on what you want to do. Some people enjoy watching the moon itself, as it waxes and wanes in our sky. On the other hand, people using telescopes avoid the moon because its glare interferes with deep-sky objects.
On May 30, 2016, the red planet Mars comes closer to Earth than it has been since November, 2005. It lies 46.8 million miles (75.3 million km) from Earth on this date. This is Mars’ closest point for this year. That’s in spite of the fact that Earth passed between Mars and the sun (the martian opposition) on May 22.
M66 is a galaxy 36 million light-years away in the direction to our constellation Leo. A star exploded there 36 million years ago … and came into view in Earth’s sky this weekend.
Astronauts in orbit aboard ISS spent more than 7 hours on Saturday filling the new BEAM module with air. Check out this 25-second timelapse.
Tonight – or any night in late May 2016 – start watching for the ringed planet Saturn, which is found near the planet Mars and the star Antares. Saturn comes closest to Earth for the year on Friday, June 3 – only four days after Mars’ closest approach to Earth on Monday, May 30. It’s coming up fairly early in the evening now, and its best time to be observed in all of 2016 is nearly upon us.
The last quarter moon comes on May 29, 2016 at 12:12 UTC. A last quarter moon looks half-illuminated. It rises around midnight, appears at its highest in the sky at dawn, and sets around noon.
The Rosetta spacecraft has identified the chemical elements glycine and phosphorus in the dusty halo around Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Scientists say the discovery is “the first unambiguous detection of glycine at a comet” and provides further evidence supporting the theory that the building blocks for life came to Earth from outer space.