A bright, long earthgrazing Eta Aquarid meteor in 2013 burns out against a display of the northern lights. Credit: Bob King

Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower Gets Underway!

Don’t look now but you may see a meteor or two flash by if you’re up in the wee hours tomorrow through the weekend.  It’s the peak of the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower. If you live in the southern U.S. or tropics, up to 25-40 meteors per hour could fly by during during maximum on…
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Portions of the Martian surface shot by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show many channels from 1 meter to 10 meters wide on a scarp in the Hellas impact basin, in this photograph taken January 14, 2011 and released by NASA March 9, 2011. Scientists have found the first evidence that briny water may flow on the surface of Mars during the planet's summer months, a paper published on Monday showed.  Researchers found telltale fingerprints of salts that form only in the presence of water in narrow channels cut into cliff walls throughout the planet's equatorial region.  REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/Handout   FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Boiling Water May Carve Gullies On Mars

Water may boil at 212° F at sea level but on a 10,000-foot-high mountain boiling temperature drops to 194° F and on top of Mt. Everest all the way down to 160° F. The reason for this is that you’re above more and more of the atmosphere the higher you climb, so there’s less air…
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This artist’s impression shows an imagined view from the surface one of the three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth that were discovered using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory. These worlds have sizes and temperatures similar to those of Venus and Earth and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the Solar System. They are the first planets ever discovered around such a tiny and dim star. In this view one of the inner planets is seen in transit across the disc of its tiny and dim parent star.

Three Potential Earth-like Planets Discovered Around Nearby Star

Three new planets discovered around a tiny, faint star in the constellation Aquarius may be among the best places to look for evidence of extraterrestrial life. A team of astronomers led by Michaël Gillon of the Institute of Astrophysics and Geophysics at the University of Liege in Belgium studied the star, named TRAPPIST-1, and discovered it…
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Aurora May1_2016 very purple flames F_S_FEA

May Begins With A Baby Blue Aurora

I wanted to tweet out the news of northern lights but had no service last night. So sorry! I only hope you were out looking all the same. I watched from the countryside, where I could already see a pale green arc appeared low in the northern sky during twilight. It soon intensified, added another arc…
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Mars Saturn Antares April 29_2016_S_FEA

Get Re-acquainted With The Night

Clouds, commitments and a bad cold have kept the stars and I apart for weeks.  Last night’s clear sky finally brought us back together. I can be a miner when it comes to the night, drilling for nebulae, galaxies and comets with my telescope for hours, extracting one glittering gem after another. Other times, I prefer to tilt my…
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