Such a storm would wreak havoc with our communication systems and power supplies, and scientists say we’re overdue.
Happy birthday to our August friends! This is one of your birthstones, peridot. Your other birthstone is sardonyx.
Read about both your birthstones….
Look for the celestial show in the southwest sky as darkness falls on this Friday evening, August 1. The moon and Mars light up the constellation Virgo on opposite sides of Virgo’s brightest star, Spica.
UPDATE July 31, 2014. Stories are popping up fast in various media this afternoon about a likely source of a reported, mysterious hole in permafrost in the Yamal region of northern Russia. This hole was spotted by a helicopter pilot in mid-July; reindeer herders reported a second hole some days later. Eric Holthaus of Slate said that there is now:
… new (and definitive) evidence … that the Siberian holes were created via methane released from warming permafrost.
The evidence has come via the journal Nature, which published a story on its website today featuring the findings of Andrei Plekhanov, a senior researcher at the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies in Salekhard, Russia, and his team. This is the team that was sent in to investigate the first hole shortly after it was found.
UPDATE: July 29, 2014. Beginning of high-level detail The 3.5-by-4-km-sized nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has now been seen closer in at a distance of 1,950 kilometers / 1,212 miles by the Rosetta Mission OSIRIS NAC camera. Surface features on the nucleus are now becoming very apparent in this 37-meter resolution image.
Moon near Saturn and Mars in early August. Closest supermoon of 2014 on August 10. Jupiter and Venus have closest conjunction of any two planets in 2014 before dawn on August 18. All in all … August 2014 is a wonderful month for skywatching!
More than 4 billion years ago, giant asteroid impacts melted, mixed and buried the surface of Earth
At nightfall, look in your southern sky for the bright ruddy star that is called the Scorpion’s Heart – Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius. Antares is always up on summer evenings. It’s a bright red star known for twinkling rapidly. If you have binoculars, sweep for an object near Antares on the sky’s dome. This object is called M4, and it’s a globular star cluster located just one degree to the west of Antares.
Climate extremes are here to stay, say researchers.
The video above, from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California, tells the story of the creature scientists have dubbed “Octomom,” a deep-sea octopus observed to guard her eggs for nearly 4.5 years. It’s the longest egg-brooding period of any known animal.