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Scared of thunder and lightning? You have astraphobia

Never let your pets watch scary movies. Never a good idea! Image Credit: John Veldboom via Flickr

Thunder and lightning can be scary to pets, too. Image via John Veldboom via Flickr

Bam! Yikes!

Do you – and your dog – have astraphobia?

10 things you might not know about stars

The sun in extreme ultraviolet, false color green

The sun in extreme ultraviolet, false color green

Here’s a collection of 10 unexpected, intriguing facts about the stars of our universe – including our sun – that you probably didn’t know!

Video: Paddle boarders meet orcas

Imagine you’re paddle-boarding, and an orca – killer whale – pops up on the ocean surface near you. Two amazing and beautiful videos, here.

North Atlantic circulation slowing down already?

Image of thermohaline (heat, salt) driven ocean circulation in the North Atlantic and other ocean basins. Image Credit: NASA.

Image of thermohaline (heat, salt) driven ocean circulation in the North Atlantic and other ocean basins. Image Credit: NASA.

New research has found that recent decreases in North Atlantic Ocean circulation are unprecedented over the past 1,100 years.

Opah, the first truly warm-blooded fish

Southwest Fisheries Science Center biologist Nick Wegner holds captured opah.  Via NOAA Fisheries West Coast on Flickr

Southwest Fisheries Science Center biologist Nick Wegner holds captured opah. Via NOAA Fisheries West Coast on Flickr

Fisheries researchers announced this month that the opah now holds the distinction of being the first fish on Earth known to be truly warm-blooded.

A balancing rock on Rosetta’s comet?

Rosetta's OSIRIS camera captured this image on September 1, 2014, from a distance of 18 miles (29 km.).  Image via ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA.

Rosetta’s OSIRIS imaging system captured these boulders on Rosetta’s comet on September 1, 2014, from a distance of 18 miles (29 km.). Rock #3 appears to be balancing. Image via ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA.

Scientists from the Rosetta spacecraft’s OSIRIS team – that is, its scientific imaging team – said this week (May 18, 2015) that they’ve discovered what appears to be a balancing rock on the larger lobe of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Jupiter and Venus draw closer!

Chart via Jay Ryan at ClassicalAstronomy.com.  Used with permission.

Chart via Jay Ryan at ClassicalAstronomy.com. Used at EarthSky with permission.

Venus and Jupiter are the two brightest planets in Earth’s sky, and every so often they meet on the sky’s dome. Their next spectacular conjunction – fortunately, in the evening sky – is about to happen. By late June and early July, they’ll be amazing. Start watching them now! Charts and info here.

Origin of Antarctica’s eerie Blood Falls

Blood Falls pouring into Lake Bonney. A tent can be seen in the lower left for size comparison. Photo from the United States Antarctic Program Photo Library.

Blood Falls pouring into Lake Bonney. A tent can be seen in the lower left for size comparison. Photo from the United States Antarctic Program Photo Library.

The red color of Blood Falls in Antarctica was known to be caused by microbes living off sulfur and iron in what was surmised to be oxygen-free water trapped beneath the ice for nearly 2 million years. Recent work by Jill Mikucki at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, confirms that there are indeed zones of liquid briny water hundreds of meters below Blood Falls, likely harboring a hidden ecosystem of microbial life.

Pacific ‘blob’ is changing weather patterns

A pup lies with older sea lions at the Coast Guard Pier in Monterey, California March 17, 2015. Animal rescue centers in California are being inundated with stranded, starving sea lion pups, raising the possibility that the facilities could soon be overwhelmed, the federal agency coordinating the rescue said.  Photo credit: Reuters/Michael Fiala

A pup lies with older sea lions at the Coast Guard Pier in Monterey, California March 17, 2015. Animal rescue centers in California are being inundated with stranded, starving sea lion pups, raising the possibility that the facilities could soon be overwhelmed, the federal agency coordinating the rescue said. Photo credit: Reuters/Michael Fiala

What does this year’s odd U.S. weather have in common with a huge spike in hungry, stranded sea lion pups on California shores? Both are linked to a giant patch of warm ocean water.

This date in science: Dramatic space photos of Pavlof Volcano

Pavlof Volcano May 18, 2013 via ISS

Pavlof Volcano May 18, 2013 via ISS. The space station was about 475 miles south-southeast of the volcano when astronauts aboard captured this beautiful, oblique view. Photo provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. Image taken by the Expedition 36 crew.

May 18, 2013. On this date astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured three beautiful views of Pavlof Volcano, part of the Aleutian Arc, with a handheld Nikon D3S digital camera. As the volcano poured out lava and shot ash 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) into the air, the astronauts managed to capture these seldom-seen oblique views of the volcano, which are very different from the top-down views of most unmanned satellites.