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Record-breaking three Category 4 hurricanes in Pacific

Three Category 4 hurricanes on Sunday morning in the Pacific. Kilo (left), Ignacio (center) and Jimena (right).  Image via NASA.

Three Category 4 hurricanes on Sunday morning in the Pacific. Kilo (left), Ignacio (center) and Jimena (right). Image via NASA.


NASA’s Terra satellite just released this August 29 image of Hurricanes Kilo, Ignacio, and Jimena, all Category Four Hurricanes. According to the Weather Channel:

This is the first recorded occurrence of three Category 4 hurricanes in the central and eastern Pacific basins at the same time. In addition, it’s also the first time with three major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger) in those basins simultaneously, according to hurricane specialist Eric Blake of the National Hurricane Center.

New Horizons’ potential next flyby target

View larger. | This perspective view shows the path of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft (yellow) through the outer solar system and the Kuiper Belt.  Read more about this image.

Path of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft (yellow) through the outer solar system and the Kuiper Belt. Image via Johns Hopkins.

New Horizons will perform four maneuvers in October and November to veer toward 2014 MU69 – nicknamed PT1 (for Potential Target 1) – aiming for a January 1, 2019 encounter.

Moon swings to perigee – closest point – on August 30

The moon's apparent size in our sky depends on its distance from Earth.  The supermoon of March 19, 2011 (right), compared to an average moon of December 20, 2010 (left).  Image by Marco Langbroek of the Netherlands via Wikimedia Commons.

The moon’s apparent size in our sky depends on its distance from Earth. The supermoon of March 19, 2011 (right), compared to an average moon of December 20, 2010 (left). Image by Marco Langbroek of the Netherlands via Wikimedia Commons.

The moon reaches perigee – nearest point to Earth in its orbit – on August 30, 2015 at 15:24 UTC. This perigee comes less than one day after the moon reached the crest of its full phase on August 29 at 18:35 UTC.

First of 3 full supermoons on August 29

Image credit: Stefano Sciarpetti

Image credit: Stefano Sciarpetti

Supermoon weekend! The full moon of August 29, 2015 will be the first of this year’s three full supermoons. It’s a full moon near perigee, or near its closest point to Earth for the month. Like it or not, modern skylore dictates that these sorts of moons are called supermoons.

Skydiving spider discovered in South America

Biologists working in Panama and Peru have discovered a nocturnal hunting spider that can steer while falling to return to the tree from which it fell. Watch it glide!

Origin of Saturn’s F ring and shepherd moons

View larger. | The narrow F ring located just outside of the outer edge of the main rings. Two satellites sandwiching the F ring slightly above and to the left of the center of the image are the shepherd satellites Prometheus (inner orbit) and Pandora (outer orbit).

The narrow F ring located just outside of the outer edge of the main rings. Two satellites sandwiching the F ring slightly above and to the left of the center of the image are the shepherd satellites Prometheus (inner orbit) and Pandora (outer orbit).

Scientists at Kobe University in Japan this week announced results of a study showing that Saturn’s F ring and its shepherd satellites are natural by-products of the final stage of formation of Saturn’s satellites. The F ring is the outermost of Saturn’s rings. It is perhaps the most active ring in our solar system, with features changing on a timescale of hours.

Got a minute? Climate change/sea level rise

How is climate change connected to sea level rise? One-minute video explains.

New images from Dawn mission to Ceres

View larger. | Image acquired by the Dawn spacecraft on August 19, 2015.

Sharpened, enlarged crop of the mountain 1 Ceres, acquired by the Dawn spacecraft on August 19, 2015. Dawn was 910 miles (1,470 km) from Ceres at the time. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA.

Enjoying the Dawn mission to dwarf planet Ceres? Welcome to HAMO (High Altitude Mapping Orbit). Dawn has now moved to within about 900 miles (1,500 km) from Ceres. This phase of the mission has just begun and promises to reveal even more about this little world. Here are some early images from that closer orbit.

Want to see Earth’s super predator? Look in the mirror.

Rope trawl for midwater trawling. Photo credit: NOAA

Rope trawl for midwater trawling. Photo credit: NOAA

Our efficient killing technologies have given rise to the human super predator. Our impacts are as extreme as our behavior, says study.

Did glaciers lure wolves back to California?

Gray wolves in snow. Image credit: University of Buffalo

Gray wolves in snow. Image credit: University of Buffalo

More than 90 years after California’s last wolf was killed, a pack has been observed near Mt. Shasta. Are the mountain’s glaciers a reason the wolves chose this location?