Diagram showing the umbra and penumbral shadows from the side. In a total lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the umbra; in a penumbral eclipse, through the outer shadow. Credit: NASA

How To Watch Wednesday’s Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Penumbral eclipses are for those who like the subtler things in life. During a typical lunar eclipse like the one we enjoyed last September, the moon slips at least part-way into Earth’s dark, inner shadow called the umbra, which bites into the lunar disk in dramatic fashion. In a penumbral eclipse, the moon passes through only the…
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Earth moon earthrise LRO_FEA

New Earthrise Image Simply Wonderful

Call it self-adoration, but I love looking at the Earth. What a beauty! The stunning composite image above was taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been mapping lunar details as small as your kitchen table since the summer of 2009. LRO experiences 12 earthrises every day, but since the spacecraft is almost always busy imaging the…
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Winter season Orion with snow pines FEA

Happy Winter Solstice As We Arrive At The Longest Night Of The Year

Each of us senses the flow of time differently. For me, December’s gone by quickly. For you, maybe not. Either way, we’ve arrived at the start of winter or the winter solstice. At precisely 10:48 p.m. CST (11:48 p.m. EST, 9:48 p.m. MDT, 8:48 p.m. PST) Monday Dec. 21st, the sun will reach its lowest point…
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In this artist's rendering of GJ 1132b, a rocky exoplanet very similar to Earth in size and mass, circles a red dwarf star. GJ 1132b is relatively cool (about 450 degrees F) and could potentially host an atmosphere. At a distance of only 39 light-years, it will be a prime target for additional study with Hubble and future observatories like the Giant Magellan Telescope. Credit: Dana Berry

Nearby Earth-sized Planet GJ1132b Hot But Oh-so-cool

Of the nearly 2,000 confirmed exoplanets, Earth-sized worlds are few and far between. That’s because they’re either too small to cause a detectable drop in brightness when one passes in front of its host sun or lacks the mass required to measurably tug on the star and make it wobble. Astronomers use highly sensitive light-measuring devices to catch those…
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Epic Earth Oct20FEA

New NASA Site Features Daily Full-Color Photos Of The Rotating Earth

NASA launched a new website this week you’re gonna love. It features 10 or more new color pictures of the planet Earth taken every day from a million miles away by the EPIC camera on board the DSCOVR Observatory.   At that distance, we see one entire face of our beautiful blue planet. At the site, you…
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