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.
Earth comes closest to the sun (perihelion) tomorrow. Meanwhile, the December solstice took place on December 21. Are the December solstice and January perihelion related? No. It’s just a coincidence that they come so close together. Click inside to see when perihelion will fall at the March equinox.
The date of New Year’s Day seems so fundamental that it’s almost as though nature ordained it. But New Year’s Day is a civil event. Its date is not precisely fixed by a seasonal marker.
I’ve already invited the kids for black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread on New Year’s Day. As a born-and-raised U.S. southerner, I wouldn’t dream of passing a New Year’s Day without eating at least a few black-eyed peas. It occurred to me to wonder why this food – plus the greens and the cornbread – are considered lucky for New Year’s. I found out that this deep tradition of the U.S. South dates back to the Civil War.
Happy birthday January babies! Your birthstone, the garnet, symbolizes a light heart, loyalty and enduring affections.
The name “garnet” is derived from the Latin “granatum” meaning “pomegranate” because the crystals resemble the red color and seed-like form of this fruit.