The sun produced an M5-class flare earlier today (May 22, 2013), which peaked at peaked at 1332 UTC (8:32 CDT). In the image below – from NASA SOHO, you can see the beautiful coronal mass ejection produced in the flare. The CME was not Earth-directed but could deliver a glancing blow in the next few days.
A team of paleontologists have described a new dinosaur, the smallest plant-eating dinosaur species known from Canada.
What’s a supermoon? We confess: before a few years ago, we in astronomy had never heard that term. To the best of our knowledge, the term supermoon was coined by the astrologer Richard Nolle over 30 years ago. The term is only now coming into popular usage. Nolle has defined a supermoon as:
… a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.
That’s a pretty generous definition and allows for many supermoons, the first of which – for 2013 – is coming up on the night of May 24-25.
Scientists provide important new details on how climate change will affect interactions between species as temperatures continue to rise.
Earth’s atmosphere is escaping into space…but very slowly. It’ll be billions of years before it’s gone, but this MinuteEarth video explains it in two short minutes!
On the latest video from ByteSize Science – released May 20, 2013 – the American Chemical Society (AMS) explains why orange juice and toothpaste is such a bad taste combo.
Cloud streets are long rows of cumulus clouds that are oriented parallel to the direction of the wind. Check out these cool images!
May 22, 1906. On this date, two Ohio brothers – Wilbur and Orville Wright – received a patent for their heavier-than-air flying machine. Just three years before, the two bicycle mechanics had made the first controlled, powered flight. The Wrights wrote in their patent that their airplane design:
… provide[s] means for guiding the machine both vertically and horizontally … combining lightness, strength, convenience of construction, and certain other advantages.
They’re ubiquitous at this time of the year. Who looks closely at a fly? Well, EarthSky Facebook friend Tosca Yemoh Zanon did.
You’ll find the bright moon near the planet Saturn on the evening of May 22, 2013, and the star Spica to the west (right) of the moon and Saturn. Although both Saturn and Spica shine brightly, they’ll be harder than usual to see tonight because of the lunar glare. Can you see them? Binoculars might help, if you have them.
The moon is in a waxing gibbous phase. It’s getting big in the sky, and will turn full on the night of May 24/25. In the Northern hemisphere, we often call this particular full moon the Flower Moon, Rose Moon or Strawberry Moon. The full moon will barely clip the Earth’s penumbral shadow, but this eclipse will be so shallow and faint that’ll be virtually impossible to observe.
Saturn, the sixth planet outward from the sun, will shine in front of the constellation Virgo until passing out of Virgo and into the constellation Libra in late August/early September 2013. Blue-white Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, contrasts beautifully with golden Saturn, the most distant world that you can easily see with the unaided eye.