The shape of snowflakes is influenced by the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere.
A supernova is a star explosion – destructive on a scale almost beyond human imagining. If our sun exploded as a supernova, the resulting shock wave probably wouldn’t destroy the whole Earth, but the side of Earth facing the sun would boil away. Clearly, the sun’s distance – 8 light-minutes away – isn’t safe. Fortunately, our sun isn’t the sort of star destined to explode as a supernova. But other stars, beyond our solar system, will. What is the closest safe distance? Follow the links inside to learn more.
Uranus, like Earth, has four seasons. But that’s where the similarity ends. For starters, each season on Uranus lasts 21 (Earth) years.
Cloud streets are long rows of cumulus clouds that are oriented parallel to the direction of the wind. They’re formed by convection rolls of rising warm air and sinking cool air, and ultimately become oriented parallel to the direction of the wind. Check out some cool images of cloud streets, inside.
Earth spins on its axis once in every 24-hour day. At Earth’s equator, the speed of Earth’s spin is about 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 kph). The day-night has carried you around in a grand circle under the stars every day of your life, and yet you don’t feel Earth spinning. Why not? It’s because you and everything else – including Earth’s oceans and atmosphere – are spinning along with the Earth at the same constant speed.
Radiocarbon dating is a technique used by scientists to learn the ages of biological specimens – for example, wooden archaeological artifacts or ancient human remains – from the distant past. It can be used on objects as old as about 62,000 years. Follow the links inside to learn more about radiocarbon dating.
Outer space is big. Really, really, really big. And that’s why NASA has no plans at present to send a spacecraft to any of the known planets beyond our solar system. Alpha Centauri is the nearest star system to our sun at 4.3 light-years away. Can’t we even go that far? The answer is … not easily. A distance of 4.3 light-years equals trillions of miles away from Earth, nearly 300,000 times the distance from the Earth to the sun. How might we travel to Alpha Centauri, the next-nearest star? And how long would it take to get there? Follow the links inside to learn more.
As seen from the Northern Hemisphere, the stars seem brighter in winter. Here’s why …
The Age of Aquarius is an astrological age, which shifts roughly every 2,150 years. It’s defined by the sun’s position at the time of the March, or vernal, equinox. The Age of Aquarius begins when the March equinox point moves out of the constellation Pisces and into the constellation Aquarius. But there’s no definitive answer as to when that will be. This post explores some of the possibilities.
According to the definition of supermoon coined by Richard Nolle 30 years ago, the year 2015 has a total of six supermoons. They are the new moons of January, February and March and the full moons of August, September and October. The September 28, 2015 full moon will be the closest supermoon of 2015. It’ll also undergo a total lunar eclipse! Follow the links inside to learn about the supermoons of 2015.