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Celebrate solstice sun by viewing this cool solargraph

This solargraph is a single long-exposure photo of the sun over a six-month period, between the December solstice of 2009 to the June solstice of 2010.  Image by APEX Telescope via Wikimedia Commons

This solargraph is a single long-exposure photo of the sun over a six-month period, between the December solstice of 2009 to the June solstice of 2010. Image by APEX Telescope via Wikimedia Commons

A solargraph, like this one, is a long-exposure photograph that shows the path taken by the sun across the sky, over time. In this case, the time period is the six months between the December solstice of one year and June solstice of the next. The streaks in the photos are sun-trails – the sun moving in its shifting path across the sky from day to day over that six-month interval.

Way cool real-time U.S. wind map

U.S. wind map on June 19, 2014 at 6:58 a.m. CST.  Top wind speed: 24.9 mph.  Average wind speed: 6.5 mph.  Via hint.fm/wind

U.S. wind map on June 19, 2014 at 6:58 a.m. CST. Top wind speed: 24.9 mph. Average wind speed: 6.5 mph. Via hint.fm/wind

Watch the wind flowing across the U.S. in real time. It’s interesting, and it’s also beautiful. It’s a moving wind map that updates every hour and lets you see the movement, flow, and speeds of wind across the United States. What’s above is a still image from the wind map. The real one moves in a way reminiscent of actual wind. It updates hourly.

Lifeform of the Week: Eels, cuter than you think?

Image Credit: Damien du Toit

Image Credit: Damien du Toit

Let go of your aversion to slimy animals and embrace the eel appeal.

A Chinese perspective on summer

Looking for a new perspective on the summer solstice – or some new ways to celebrate? Try these ideas, from Chinese thought.

Monster twin tornadoes strike Pilger, Nebraska

Via Shalyn Phillips  (@ShayJo13 on Twitter)

Tornadoes near Pilger, Nebraska on June 16, 2014 via Shalyn Phillips (@ShayJo13 on Twitter)

Yesterday’s severe weather outbreak across parts of the U.S. Midwest resulted in damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes and produced over 400 storm reports. Conditions were favorable for strong tornadoes, which are typically classified as EF-2 or stronger. Footage of twin tornadoes appeared both on television and through social media. The city of Pilger, Nebraska was hit the hardest as tornadoes ripped through the city, injuring over 15 people and killing one. Governor Dave Heineman declared a state of emergency as tornadoes hit multiple counties in the state of Nebraska yesterday. Click inside for more info, images and video.

Seeing things that aren’t there

Pareidolia of an Apache head in rocks, in Ebihens, France via Wikimedia Commons.

Erwan Mirabeau shot this rock formation in Ebihens, France. It’s clearly reminiscent of a green haired man, known in the area as an Apache. It’s an example of pareidolia. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Maybe you’ve seen the proverbial bunny in a patch of clouds, or a clown’s face in a mud splatter on the side of your car? Seeing or hearing recognizable objects or patterns in otherwise random or unrelated objects or patterns is called pareidolia. Everyone experiences it from time to time – some people more than others. Look at the photos inside to learn more and test your own ability to see things that aren’t there.

10 surprising space objects to see in the daytime sky

Daytime moon from Italy via Alessandro Cailotto

Daytime moon from Italy via Alessandro Cailotto

If you think that daytime sky observing is limited to clouds and bird-watching, you might be missing out. Observing space objects in the daytime has its limitations and difficulties, but, as with all skywatching, it also has its rewards. So here is a list of 10 surprising space objects to see in the daytime sky.

Look for daytime moon each morning this week

This date in science: First woman in space

Valentina Tereshkova via RIA Novosti/Wikipedia

June 16, 1963. Under the call name “Chaika” (Seagull), Valentina Tereshkova launched solo aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963 to become the first woman in space. Part of her mission was to compare how the female body reacted in space to data collected in two years of male-only missions. She spent nearly 71 hours in space, orbiting the Earth 48 times.

Lifeform of the week: Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac

Image Credit: hspauldi

Image Credit: hspauldi

It’s gonna take an ocean
Of calamine lotion ….

Eruption subsides at Alaska’s Pavlof volcano

Photograph of the eruption at Mt. Pavlof on May 31, 2014. Image Credit: Paul Horn, Alaska Fish and Game.

Photograph of the eruption at Mt. Pavlof on May 31, 2014. Image Credit: Paul Horn, Alaska Fish and Game.

Large plumes of ash were released during an eruption at Mount Pavlof early this month. The volcano remains on an orange alert level.