The winter solstice is the shortest day, but the earliest sunsets come a couple of weeks before the solstice. That’s true for both hemispheres. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere your earliest sunsets will be in early to mid-December. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, your earliest sunrises are coming now.
We have been receiving a number of inquiries about some upcoming Blood Moons in the years 2014 and 2015. And we want to say, first of all, that the Blood Moons most people are asking about are not part of astronomy. Instead, their origin is religious, at least according to Christian pastor John Hagee, who wrote a 2013 book about Blood Moons. More about that below. Still, since they’re moons, and since people are asking us, we wanted to reply. Follow the links inside to learn more about Blood Moons.
Despite our fascination with screams, science knows relatively little about them.
Harold Gouzoules is one of the few scientists researching human screams. He collects them and analyzes their tone, pitch, and frequency to try and uncover the hidden patterns and complexities carried in one of the most intense human sounds.
Happy birthday to all you November babies! Your birthstone is the topaz.
The word “topaz” comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “fire.” And in ancient lore, the topaz could be used to control heat. It was said to have the power to cool boiling water, as well as excessive anger. As medication, topaz was used to cure fever.
We’ve all seen a full moon looming large shortly after it rises, when it’s still hugging the horizon. It’s not caused by any physical effect. Instead, it’s an illusion, a trick your brain is playing. Astronomers call it the moon illusion.
An eclipse of the moon can only happen at full moon, when the sun, Earth and moon line up in space, with Earth in the middle. At such times, Earth’s shadow falls on the moon, creating a lunar eclipse. When this happens – and it happens two to four times every year – everyone on Earth’s night side can see the eclipse. There are three kinds of lunar eclipses: total, partial and penumbral. Click inside to learn the difference.
Many types of trees shed their leaves as a strategy to survive harsh weather conditions. In temperate forests across the Northern Hemisphere, trees shed their leaves during autumn as cold weather approaches. In tropical and subtropical forests, trees shed their leaves at the onset of the dry season. Trees that lose all of their leaves for part of the year are known as deciduous trees. Those that don’t are called evergreen trees.
Is it possible to have three eclipses in one month? Yes, it’s possible. You can have two solar eclipses and one lunar eclipse in one month. Or you can have two lunar eclipses and one solar eclipse in one month. However, it’s quite rare to have three eclipses in one calendar month. Follow the links below to learn more about past and future months in which there are three eclipses.
Meet opal. It’s one of two birthstones for October. The other October birthstone is tourmaline, which exhibits the broadest spectrum of colors of any gemstone and thus is often misidentified as rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Check out the beautiful images of these stones, inside this post. And happy birthday!
No matter where you are on Earth, you have a due east and due west point on your horizon. That point marks the intersection of your horizon with the celestial equator – the imaginary line above the true equator of the Earth. At the equinoxes, the sun appears overhead at noon as seen from Earth’s equator. That’s the definition of an equinox: it’s when the sun crosses the celestial equator, as seen in Earth’s sky. That’s why the sun rises due east and sets due west for all of us on the day of an equinox.