This is why the moon is so ‘super’ tonight. This post explains lunar perigee and includes dates of all closest and farthest moons for each month of 2015.
The black hole at the heart of Milky Way – called Sagittarius A* or Sgr A* for short – has within the past year blasted out 10 times its normal rate X-ray flares. Astronomers speculate that the increase in X-rays might be due to the close passage of a mysterious, dusty object that they call G2. But they’re not sure.
Thank you to EarthSky friends for posting your wonderful photos showing the signs of autumn. Happy autumn (or spring, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) to everyone on this day of the equinox!
I was tempted by EarthSky’s extensive coverage on the equinoxes to check out and photograph the equinox sunset here in Mutare, Zimbabwe on September 22, 2015 and recorded much more than anticipated. To my surprise it turned out to be literally a blazing one due to the fortuitous occurrence of a bush fire concealed behind the exact point on the hill over which the sun went down.
This video is made from a series of images captured between November 2013 and April 2015, and it shows an exoplanet, a planet orbiting a distant star, moving through 18 months of its 22-year orbit around its star. The star is called called Beta Pictoris, and it’s visible, faintly, in the night sky seen from Earth’s Southern Hemisphere. The exoplanet is called Beta Pictoris b.
Andy Weir’s great science fiction book The Martian – soon to be released as a movie – has as its premise that a large Martian dust storm strands an astronaut on Mars. Martian dust storms would be unlikely to do that, but they do have consequences for spacecraft on Mars now, and for future Martian astronauts.
This initial draft – a collaborative effort from scientists at 11 institutions – is based on nearly 500 smaller trees from previously published studies. Click inside to learn more about it.
The 2015 wildfire season in the United States has already broken records. So far this year, more acres of land have burned as of mid-September than the total annual amount in 2011, which was the 4th worst year for wildfires at least since the 1960s. So will this year be the new fourth worst, third worst, second worst, or worst wildfire year since then? Read on, and take a guess.
Twice a year – on the March and September equinoxes – everyone worldwide supposedly receives 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night. Yet, in actuality, there is more daylight than nighttime on the day of the equinox. In fact, at mid-temperate latitudes, there is an additional 8 or so minutes of daylight. Why? There are two reasons why we have more than 12 hours of daylight on the day of the day of supposedly equal day and night. Click to find out….
At first I thought I wouldn’t watch this, because it’s 7 minutes long. But then I did watch it, and I’m glad I did, because it’s a beautiful and touching depiction of the relationship between solid matter and empty space in our solar system.