Water vapor could have been just as abundant in pockets of space a billion years after the Big Bang as it is today, suggest new research.
Four planets are visible at nightfall this month: Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn. Mars disappears into the glare of sunset.
While he sings, watch what’s going on inside his head.
Happy May Day!
May Day is an ancient spring festival in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s an astronomical holiday, one of the year’s four cross-quarter days, or day that falls more or less midway between an equinox and solstice.
For the Northern Hemisphere, the planet Mercury is now just starting its best evening apparition of 2015. It’ll be visible for the first half of May – maybe the first three weeks. Have binoculars? If so, take a look at the Pleiades star cluster coupling up with Mercury within the same binocular field of view as dusk ebbs into darkness. At mid-northern latitudes, Mercury sets a whopping 110 minutes or so after the sun.
UPDATE APRIL 30 AT 4 P.M. CDT (21OO UTC): Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, have confirmed NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft impacted the surface of Mercury, as anticipated, at 3:26 p.m. EDT.
Here is the final image acquired and transmitted back to Earth by the MESSENGER spacecraft on April 30, 2015, shortly before it struck the planet. MESSENGER spent over four years orbiting Mercury. The image is located within the floor of the 93-kilometer-diameter crater Jokai. The spacecraft struck the planet just north of Shakespeare basin.
April showers brought these rainbows. Enjoy these awesome photos from our friends!
Jack Webb in Wapiti, Wyoming captured this shot last night of Mercury and the Pleiades, a tiny dipper-shaped star cluster also called the Seven Sisters. Congratulations, Jack! The elusive planet Mercury and the lovely Seven Sisters are low in the west after sunset now. Watch for them.