There’ve been scare stories online this month about asteroid 2006 QV89, a space rock that’ll pass closest to Earth on September 9, 2019. Should you be scared? Heck no.
People have reported seeing Transient Lunar Phenomena – unusual flashes and other lights on the moon – for at least 1,000 years. Yet they’re still mysterious. Now a scientist in Germany is using a new telescope to try to solve the mystery.
A "lunar flare" example of TLP seen near the lunar terminator on November 15, 1953 by Leon H. Stuart in Tulsa, OK. The photo was taken with an 8" reflector telescope. Image via Leon H. Stuart.
During a penumbral eclipse, observant people in the right spot on Earth will look up and notice a dark shading on the moon’s face. Others look and notice nothing at all.
April 25, 2013 penumbral eclipse by Stanislaus Ronny Terrance.
For the northern part of Earth, the season for seeing noctilucent clouds – clouds that shine at night – typically begins in June. This June has been particularly fine for seeing these electric-blue clouds. Photos and video here.
Guy Ottewell lives in England. His illustrations of 3-dimensional space are illuminating. Long summer twilights, explained.
Image via Guy Ottewell's blog. Used with permission.
What is ball lightning? Scientists have been trying to figure that out for hundreds of years, and now it seems they may finally be close to solving one of Earth’s most intriguing natural mysteries.
Series of images showing the creation of a ball-lightning-like phenomenon in a laboratory. Image via David M. Friday et. al
Do you have friggatriskaidekaphobia … an irrational fear of Friday the 13th? Today isn’t Friday the 13th. But it is exactly 13 weeks before a Friday the 13th in September. Then, exactly 13 weeks after that, 2019’s second Friday the 13th will fall in December. Zoinks!
Image via lesaffaires.
The American Astronomical Society – chief organization for US astronomers – said it is in conversations with SpaceX about the impending launch of 12,000 Starlink satellites. The astronomers worry the satellites will interfere with their work of understanding the universe.
An image of the NGC 5353/4 galaxy group made with a telescope at Lowell Observatory in Arizona, USA on the night of Saturday 25 May 2019. The diagonal lines running across the image are trails of reflected light left by more than 25 of the 60 recently launched Starlink satellites as they passed through the telescope’s field of view. Although this image serves as an illustration of the impact of reflections from satellite constellations, please note that the density of these satellites is significantly higher in the days after launch (as seen here) and also that the satellites will diminish in brightness as they reach their final orbital altitude. Image via Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory
Nearly 100 countries have already signed up to organize national campaigns, to provide the public with an opportunity to vote. The deadline is July 30 to express interest in organizing a national campaign. The IAU will announce results in December.
Artist's concept of a landscape on an exoplanet, or planet orbiting a distant star, via the IAU
.Within the framework of its 100th anniversary commemorations, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is organising the IAU100 NameExoWorlds global competition that allows any country in the world to give a popular name to a selected exoplanet and its host star.