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Incredible lake-effect snow pounds Buffalo area, continuing today

Image Credit: Derek Gee via Twitter

Image via Derek Gee via Twitter

Lake-effect snow is nothing new for those north and east of Lakes Erie and Ontario. When it happens, snow totals climb over three to four feet (over a meter) in less than 24 hours. In isolated spots around the Buffalo, New York area this week, over five feet (1.5 meters!) of snow fell earlier this week, and a second round is happening and expected to continue through Friday.

What is lake-effect snow?

Podcast and interview with Tom Niziol, a longtime meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service in Buffalo, New York, about lake-effect snow.

Snow in West Seneca, New York

Digging out of the snow in West Seneca, NY on November 19, 2014. Image appears courtesy of Carrie Boye Roof.

Image from November 19 courtesy of Carrie Boye Roof.

Digging out of the snow in West Seneca, NY on November 19, 2014.

November is the month of the Pleiades

Pleiades by s58y

Pleiades by s58y

November is the month of the Pleiades star cluster. Yearly, on or near November 20, the Pleiades cluster culminates – reaches its highest point in the sky – at midnight.

Is this exotic object an ejected black hole or a huge star?

Using the Keck II telescope in Hawaii, researchers obtained high-resolution images of Markarian 177 and SDSS1133 using a near-infrared filter. Twin bright spots in the galaxy's central region are consistent with recent star formation, a disturbance that hints this galaxy may have merged with another. Image credit: W. M. Keck Observatory/M. Koss (ETH Zurich) et al.

Using the Keck II telescope in Hawaii, researchers obtained high-resolution images of Markarian 177 and SDSS1133 using a near-infrared filter. Twin bright spots in the galaxy’s central region are consistent with recent star formation, a disturbance that hints this galaxy may have merged with another. Image credit: W. M. Keck Observatory/M. Koss (ETH Zurich) et al.

In an analysis of 60 years of observations, an international team of astronomers have discovered an exotic source of light. The object – called SDSS1133 – might be a supermassive black hole ejected from its home galaxy, or the remains of a massive star that exploded as a supernova. Astronomers aren’t sure.

Subaru Telescope detects sudden appearance of 7 galaxies in early universe

A very young galaxy, recently discovered by Japanese astronomers using the Subaru Telescope.

A very young galaxy, one of 7 recently discovered by Japanese astronomers. Image via Subaru/ICRR, University of Tokyo.

When you look at the photo above, you’re looking back more than 13 billion years to the very early universe. You’re seeing a very faint galaxy that is exceedingly young, born not long after the Big Bang. That’s according to a new study by Japanese astronomers, who say they’ve found 7 galaxies that appeared within 700 million years of the Big Bang.

Video: Could humans actually live on planet Mars?

Could we survive on Mars? The AsapSCIENCE guys address the question.

Men and women adapt differently to spaceflight

Visual Impairment Intracranial Pressure (VIIP) Syndrome was identified in 2005. It is currently NASA’s leading spaceflight-related health risk, and is more predominant among men than women in space. Here, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg uses a fundoscope to image her eye while in orbit. Image credit: NASA

Astronaut Karen Nyberg. Image via NASA

A new study used years of biological data on male and female astronauts in the International Space Station to look at physiological and behavioral differences in the way that men and women adapt to spaceflight. It found no evidence of sex differences in terms of behavioral or psychological responses to spaceflight, and no no sex or gender differences in neurobehavioral performance and sleep measures. However, it did identify some differences, outlined inside.

Bizarre black hole alignments over billions of light-years

View larger. | This artist's impression shows schematically the mysterious alignments between the spin axes of quasars and the large-scale structures that they inhabit that observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have revealed. These alignments are over billions of light-years and are the largest known in the universe.  The large-scale structure is shown in blue and quasars are marked in white with the rotation axes of their black holes indicated with a line.  This picture is for illustration only and does not depict the real distribution of galaxies and quasars.  Image via ESO/M. Kornmesser

Artist’s impression of mysterious alignments between the spin axes of quasars’ black holes and the large-scale structures that they inhabit. Image via ESO/M. Kornmesser

The European Southern Observatory announced today (November 19, 2014) that its Very Large Telescope in Chile has revealed something downright odd. That is, the rotation axes of the central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars are parallel to each other over distances of billions of light-years.

Cape Neddick Lighthouse at night

Our friend Mike Taylor captured this gorgeous shot of Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York, Maine. We often see photos of this picturesque lighthouse, whose construction began in 1879, but this one is particularly beautiful. Mike is also working on an upcoming film to be called Shot in the Dark. He recently posted a trailer/teaser for it on Vimeo. If you love sky images, you will love this. Watch inside.