What is the coldest place on Earth? Scientists say it’s a place so cold that ordinary mercury or alcohol thermometers won’t work there. At this place, the new record of minus 136 F (minus 93.2 C) was set on Aug. 10, 2010. Researchers analyzed data from several satellite instruments and found the coldest place on Earth in the past 32 years is … [click to continue…]
Here’s how the Moon will look to us on Earth during the entire year of 2014. Using data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio can project how the Moon will appear, and compresses one month into 24 seconds and a year to about 5 minutes. Above is the video where Celestial north is up, corresponding to the view from the northern hemisphere, and below is how the Moon will look from the southern hemisphere.
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Sometimes, if you are lucky, dawn comes before the dawn. The zodiacal light – or false dawn, as it is sometimes called – is an ethereal light extending up from the horizon, sometimes seen about an hour before sunrise or an hour after sunset. At one time, it was thought this was an atmospheric phenomenon, but it’s more cosmic than that! Zodiacal light is sunlight reflecting off dust grains in space. These dust grains are likely left over from the same process that created Earth and the other planets of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago.
Alan Dyer captured this beautiful view of the zodiacal light on a recent trip to New Mexico. If you look closely you can see some other cosmic phenomena as well: “Mars is above centre and Saturn is just rising over the mountain ridge,” Alan wrote on Flickr. “Comet Lovejoy C/2013 R1 is at far left. The image includes the position (left of centre, above the mountains left of the Zodiacal Light) where Comet ISON (C/2012 S2) would have been had it survived passage around the Sun.”
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The Universe is filled with hot fusion, in the cores of stars. And scientists have even been able to replicate this stellar process in expensive experiments. But wouldn’t it be amazing if you could produce energy from fusion without all that equipment, and high temperatures and pressures? Pons and Fleischmann announced exactly that back in 1989, but things didn’t quite turn out as planned…
Here is another giveaway just in time for the holidays: The Constellation Observing Atlas by Grant Privett and Kevin Jones. Springer and Universe Today are giving away free copies to two lucky Universe Today readers.
Review by: Evan Gough
The night sky is vast and full of wonders, and binoculars or a telescope can bring these wonders into view. The planets and the moon are easy to find, but after that, the rest of the objects in the night sky can be challenging to locate. “The Constellation Observing Atlas,” by Grant Privett and Kevin Jones, will guide you around the night sky, and help you find the most interesting objects.
This atlas uses the patterns of the constellations to cut the sky up into bite-sized pieces, giving the amateur observer an easy to use method for exploring the night sky. “The Constellation Observing Atlas” has a section for each one of the eighty-eight constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union, from Andromeda to Vulpecula.