Scientists are examining unknown stones that fell on a house in Ragala, Walapane, Sri Lanka on February 19, 2014. It’s possible the stone is a meteorite, or rock from space. The video above is not in English, but it gives you a clear idea of what happened.
A potent area of low pressure will intensify Thursday and Friday (February 20-21, 2014) to produce severe weather across the U.S. Southeast, Midwest, and eventually the East Coast.
Wow! Here’s a great time-lapse from a friend on Facebook, James McCue, showing Spica, Mars and the moon last night (February 19, 2014). It’s awesome, James! Thank you for the shout out and the video.
It has been an extremely active winter for the United States. We’ve seen drought in the West and a cold and stormy eastern half of country for most of the winter. Many areas have seen record amounts of snowfall.
Meteorological winter ends on February 28, 2014. However, we will continue to see winter pack a punch across the United States.
February 20, 1962: John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. He made three turns around the planet before returning safely in his spacecraft, Friendship 7.
In a tribute to eclectic composer Frank Zappa, scientists have named a bacterium for him.
EarthSky Facebook friend Kevin Palmer Photography captured this beautiful photo of the northern lights, or aurora borealis, early this morning. He wrote:
The northern lights were visible all the way in Central Illinois early this morning. It was worth the 4 hour wait before they got this bright at 2:30am.
February 19, 1473. Nicolaus Copernicus was born on this date, 541 years ago. Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and mathematician. He lived at a time when people believed Earth lay enclosed within crystal spheres at the center of the universe. Can you picture the leap of imagination required for him to conceive of a sun-centered universe? The publication of Copernicus’ book – De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) – just before his death in 1543, set the stage for all of modern astronomy. Today, people speak of his work as the Copernican Revolution.
The retreat of sea ice in the Arctic is diminishing Earth’s albedo, or reflectivity, by an amount considerably larger – about twice as large – as that estimated in previous studies. That’s according to a new study using data from several NASA satellites, whose results were announced today (February 18, 2014). As the sea ice melts, the Arctic’s icy white reflective surface is replaced by a relatively dark ocean surface. This change diminishes the amount of sunlight being reflected back to space, causing Earth to absorb an increasing amount of solar energy, thereby creating additional warming.
NOAA’s national overview for January 2014 is out, and the results might surprise you … if you live in the eastern half of the U.S. Yes, those in the U.S. East this year have been shivering and digging out from under mounds of snow. On January 6, 2014, alone, approximately 50 daily record low temperatures were set, from Colorado to Alabama to New York, according to the National Weather Service. In some places temperatures were 40 degrees Fahrenheit colder than average. According to NOAA temperature data for the month of January 2014, however, the average temperature for the U.S. as a whole was about normal. That’s because a warm U.S. West balanced a cool U.S. East.