Tonight’s wide waxing crescent moon resides inside the Winter Circle – an incredibly large star configuration made of six brilliant stars – as seen from North America. We’ll see the Winter Circle fill up much of the south to southwest sky at dusk/nightfall. Elsewhere in the world, the moon will also be in the midst of these stars, or at least near them.
Have you heard of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – sometimes called the Doomsday Vault – a seed bank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, only 810 miles (about 1,300 kilometers) from the North Pole? Cary Fowler spearheaded its groundbreaking in 2006, and he remains the seed bank’s prime mover. Now a new film – due to open on May 22 – tracks the passion for saving a global diversity of seeds that has occupied Fowler for three decades.
Abhijit Juvekar posted this photo to EarthSky Facebook yesterday (March 24, 2015), in an illustration of the fact that – at this time of year, as seen from across the globe – the sunsets are moving a little farther northward each evening.
Scientists say Jupiter swept through the inner solar system, setting off a series of collisions that smashed a first generation of inner planets to pieces, before it retreated into its current orbit. That’s according to a new study published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings help explain why our solar system is so different from the hundreds of other planetary systems that astronomers have discovered in recent years.
What are the highest points on Earth in contrast to the deepest manmade boreholes and ocean trenches? Click into this post to see the whole infographic.
Scientists in Australia have discovered a 400-kilometer-wide (250-mile-wide) impact zone from a huge asteroid that broke into two chunks moments before it slammed into the ground millions of years ago. It’s the largest impact zone ever found on Earth.
Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society created this image after last week’s Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston. At the conference, scientists announced names for various regions (quads) on Ceres, and Lakdawalla applied those names to a digital elevation model of the little world, resulting in the image above.
Bluish Acrux, otherwise known as Alpha Crucis, is the brightest star in the constellation Crux the Southern Cross. It is the 13th brightest star in all the sky. Because it is located far to the south of the sky’s equator, this star cannot be seen from much of North America. Observers north of central Florida or south Texas are out of luck. Observers in Hawaii sometimes tell us they’ve spotted it. You have to be in the Southern Hemisphere to see Crux in all its glory. Therein lies much of its magic and mystery. Follow the links inside to learn more.
Is there an actual harmony of the spheres? A chance discovery by a team of researchers has provided experimental evidence that stars might generate sound. They announced their discovery March 23, 2015.