Astronomers have discovered that a Neptune-sized exoplanet – HAT-P-11b – has an even larger helium atmosphere than first thought. The atmosphere is literally inflated like a massive balloon.
Artist’s concept of the exoplanet HAT-P-11b with its extended helium atmosphere blown being out into space by stellar radiation from the star. Image via Denis Bajram.
Comet 46P/Wirtanen is making one of the 10 closest comet flybys of Earth in 70 years today. Whether you glimpse it with the eye – or see it online – don’t miss this comet! Charts, tips and other info here.
Greg Hogan in Kathleen, Georgia caught Comet Wirtanen on February 26, 2018. He wrote: "This comet was FINALLY over my tree line of my neighborhood. Here is a shot I got with my 85mm lens on a Canon 7D. I was able to find it quickly with just a quick shot pointed in the right direction. Taken 9:30pm EST." Canon 7D, 85mm, 5-sec exposure, ISO 6400, f2.8.
December solstice 2018 arrives on December 21 at 22:23 UTC. High summer for the Southern Hemisphere. For the Northern Hemisphere, the return of more sunlight!
The Geminids peaked last night, and, by all reports, put on a great show in 2018. Photos here from the EarthSky community. Thank you to all who submitted.
Mike Lewinski wrote: "
I captured Venus and a meteor at 5:18am MST today, December 13, 2018, in Tres Piedras, New Mexico."