The Oceans of Storms on the moon (Oceanus Procellarum) is the only one of the lunar maria or seas to be called an ocean. That’s because it’s the largest of the maria, stretching more than 1,600 miles (2,500 km) across. Early theories about this part of the moon suggested it was the site of an ancient asteroid impact. Now scientists studying data from the Grail mission – which orbited the moon in 2011 and 2012 – believe they have found evidence that this region formed not in an asteroid impact, but instead via processes going on beneath the moon’s surface.
The next eclipse is a total eclipse of the full moon – the Northern Hemisphere’s full Hunter’s Moon – on the night of October 7-8, 2014. Can’t wait? Follow the links inside to learn the dates for upcoming solar and lunar eclipses for the rest of 2014 and 2015. Enjoy.
Is it possible to have three eclipses in one month? Yes, it’s possible. You can have two solar eclipses and one lunar eclipse in one month. Or you can have two lunar eclipses and one solar eclipse in one month. However, it’s quite rare to have three eclipses in one calendar month. Follow the links inside to learn more about past and future months in which there are three eclipses.
Eclipses of the sun and moon excite more interest than any other event in astronomy. And no wonder. It’s a thrill to go outdoors, witness these grand spectacles of nature, and stand in line with the sun, Earth and moon. How rare are these events? Follow the links inside to learn more about lunar and solar eclipses.
Say hello to Mawrth Vallis on Mars. Mawrth means Mars in Welsh, and Vallis just means valley. This region on Mars is an ancient channel, thought by most Mars scientists to have been carved by outburst floods in Mars’ past. It’s one of four candidate landing sites under consideration for the ExoMars 2018 mission.
Sirius, nighttime’s brightest star, is most enchanting, so much so that – every year, beginning in the fall – we get many, many questions about a multicolored star twinkling in the southeastern to southern sky after midnight. This star is Sirius in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog. It’s sometimes called the Dog Star.
As a teenager, I volunteered at the local animal shelter. One of the tasks I performed there was assisting in the bathing of newly acquired cats and kittens. From this I learned two important pieces of information: 1) cats hate water and 2) they will gladly claw your face off to escape a bath. Many wild felines also display a lack of enthusiasm for getting wet, but not the fishing cat. This species regularly and willingly enters water. They swim, they dive and, most importantly, they catch fish – thus earning them their common name.
The annual State of the Birds report documents the health of bird populations across the United States. This year’s findings: While some wetland birds appear to be doing well because of conservation programs, but other birds are experiencing steep declines in population numbers.
Of the more than 800 species of birds in the U.S., 233 have been placed on a Watch List in the new report. The Watch List provides an early warning system for birds that are most in danger of becoming extinct in the years ahead if significant conservation actions are not put in place to protect their populations. The list includes all native Hawaiian forest birds and birds in the continental U.S. such as the Rufous hummingbird, California condor, and wood thrush.
Meet tourmaline. It’s one of two birthstones for October. The other October birthstone is opal. More info inside this post. And happy birthday October babies!
In Toronto yesterday (September 30, 2014), NASA administrator Charles Bolden and India’s space agency chairman K. Radhakrishnan signed two documents to launch a U.S.-India satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars. Both NASA and India’s space agency – called the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) – placed spacecraft in orbit around Mars during this past month.