Perhaps you’ve heard of the Saros cycle of eclipses. There are currently 40 different Saros series in progress, each with its own assigned number. The total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 belongs to Saros 120.
Siberian Times reported a total of seven mystery craters in Siberia in February 2015, with one scientist speculating on the possibility of “20-30 more.” Meanwhile, other scientists are suggesting that the craters are formed not by explosive methane release, as was previously suggested, but by another, less dramatic mechanism, the rapid melting of ice plugs known as pingos, due to unseasonably warm temperatures in Siberia over the past year.
March 13, 2015 is a Friday, ushering in Act II of this year’s epic Friday the 13th trilogy. We had a Friday the 13th in February, too – exactly four weeks before March’s Friday the 13th! Then we’ll have a Friday the 13th in November – exactly 39 weeks (3 x 13 weeks) after Friday, February 13, 2015!
Not that we at EarthSky suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia – an irrational fear of Friday the 13th – but, gosh darn, it’s Friday the 13th three times over in 2015. What’s more, last year’s lone Friday the 13th on June 13, 2014, occurred exactly 39 weeks (3 x 13 weeks) before this Friday the 13th in March 2015. Also, next year’s lone Friday the 13th on May 13, 2016, will happen exactly 26 weeks (2 x 13 weeks) after Friday the 13th in November 2015. Follow the links below to learn more about why some people fear this day and about 2015’s three Friday the 13ths.
Follow the links inside to learn more about why some people fear this day and about 2015’s three Friday the 13ths.
In 2014, researchers discovered Galapagos tortoise hatchlings on the Galapagos island of Pinzón. The young tortoises are the first to have survived there in more than a century. It’s a sign that decades of conservation programs to protect the giant reptile are starting to pay off.
Why is it raining when temperatures are below freezing?
The phenomenon of freezing rain: What causes the dangerous winter weather element that can paralyze cities.
A quadcopter drone was used to capture this amazing video a year ago. If you watch it all, you’ll see thousands of common dolphins stampeding off Dana Point, California, three gray whales migrating together down the coast off San Clemente, California, plus, toward the end, close-ups from Maui of a newborn Humpback whale calf snuggling and playing with its mom, as an escort whale stands guard nearby. Definitely worth five minutes!
Ye-ow! What a story. The image above is making the rounds on science websites this week (February 23, 2015). It shows a Buddhist statue with (surprise!) a mummified body inside. A CT scan, at right on the image above, shows the mummy. It’s a strange image, but the story around it is even stranger.
Earth detectors haven’t yet detected dark matter. We know it’s there only because dark matter interacts, gravitationally, with visible matter and radiation. Modern theories suggests that dark matter makes up a substantial portion of the mass of our universe, and the inner part of our galaxy, where our solar system resides, is thought to contain dark matter. This month – in a paper published February 18, 2015 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society - a New York University (NYU) professor cites dark matter as the cause for earthly catastrophes, specifically mass extinctions and geologic upheavals. The idea seems far-fetched, but has an easy-to-visualize logic behind it.
No leap year in 2015. The next leap day will be February 29, 2016. The reason for leap years explained here.