Ocean warming has picked up speed, say scientists. The current record-breaking temperatures suggest that a 14-year-long pause in ocean warming has come to an end.
Rosetta blog, which is a wonderful place to go for the most up-to-date information about ESA’s wonderful comet mission, posted the mosaic image above earlier today. It’s comprised of a series of images captured by the Rosetta spacecraft’s OSIRIS camera over a 30-minute period spanning the Philae lander’s first touchdown on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last week.
Rising temperatures in the United States could lead to a 50 percent increase in lightning strikes by the end of the century, according to a new study.
NASA’s Near Earth Object Program released this new map on November 14, 2014. It’s a visualization of data gathered by U.S. government sensors from 1994 to 2013. The data indicate that small asteroids struck Earth’s atmosphere – resulting in what astronomers call a bolide (a fireball, or bright meteor) – on 556 separate occasions in a 20-year period.
About 80 percent of people in the United States live in urban areas. In these areas, the glow of artificial light sources blot out the night sky. The annual Leonid meteor shower will reach its peak early Tuesday morning. Will you see any meteors? Conditions are optimum this year. The sky is cooperating! But, as much fun as it is to see a meteor zing by in your suburban backyard – or even from an urban balcony – we all know that city lights drown all but the brightest stars, planets, and fireballs. This post offers some tips on how to find a dark sky, and talks about dark sky parks, designated by the International Dark Sky Association.
The 2014 Leonid meteor shower is expected to be at its best on the night of November 17-18. The predawn hours on November 18 are the optimum time, no matter where you live on the globe. Will you see what’s shown on the image at the top of this post? Thousands of meteors per hour? No. That image is from 1998, when the Leonids parent comet – Comet Temple-Tuttle – was nearby. The Leonids are famous for producing meteor storms when the comet is in our neighborhood, but no meteor storm is expected this year, only a modest 10 to 15 Leonid meteors per hour. There’s good news about this year’s shower, though …
November 16, 1974. This is the anniversary of the most powerful broadcast ever deliberately beamed into space with the intention of contacting alien life. Some applauded this event as a mind-expanding attempt to remind people in 1974 that Earth is likely not the only planet where an intelligent civilization has evolved. At the time, others felt we shouldn’t be attempting to reveal Earth’s location in space to unknown alien civilizations.
The early November 2014 meteor showers (South Taurids and North Taurids) were drowned in bright moonlight, but produced an amazing number of fireballs which were seen and enjoyed by many. On the mornings of November 17 and 18, the moon will be mostly out of the way for the annual Leonid meteor shower. Follow the links inside to learn about meteor showers in 2014.
Before dawn on November 17, look for meteors in the famous Leonid meteor shower! The peak night will probably be tomorrow (morning of November 18), but tonight should offer a decent sprinkling of meteors as well. The moon is in a waning crescent phase and mostly out of the way. And the cool news this year is that Jupiter – currently the brightest starlike object in the sky – is near the Leonid’s radiant point. So, for fun, use Jupiter as your guide “star” to the radiant of the Leonid meteor shower tonight!
Astronomers love a good mystery, and here’s one they’ve pondered for decades. That is, Venus may have green auroras despite having no magnetic field of its own.