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.”
Dark matter makes up 90% of the matter in both systems, the study finds.
A misty forest path … Where does it lead? Tommy Richardsen captured this image in Sørkjosen, Troms, Northern Norway.
After the waxing crescent moon sets at late evening on Wednesday, look for one of summer’s most beautiful celestial sights. Be sure you are looking in a dark country sky, far away from the the glare of city lights. You’ll find a hazy pathway stretched across the sky. This band is the starlit trail of our own Milky Way galaxy. We in the N. Hemisphere look southward in late in the evening – toward the richest part of the Milky Way – to find a very small constellation called Scutum the Shield.
Using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft – which has been orbiting Saturn, weaving among its moons, since 2004 – scientists have now mapped 101 distinct geysers erupting from the surface of Enceladus, an ice world and arguably Saturn’s most fascinating moon. They’ve concluded that the only plausible source for the geysers is an underground sea now known to exist beneath Enceladus’ icy surface.
An international team of scientists cautions that the loss and decline of animals is contributing to what appears to be the early days of the planet’s sixth mass biological extinction event.
Since 1500, more than 320 terrestrial vertebrates have become extinct. Populations of the remaining species show a 25 percent average decline in abundance. The situation is similarly dire for invertebrate animal life.
The chart above provides a comparison of the distances driven by various wheeled vehicles on the surface of Mars and Earth’s moon. On July 27, the Opportunity rover passed 25 miles driven – an off-world driving distance record. Opportunity has gone farther than any other earthly wheeled vehicle on another world. It’s especially remarkable, NASA says, because Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer (.6 mile) and was never designed for distance.
How to spot it, plus an explanation of why meteors in annual showers have radiant points.