Three of the five visible planets are in good view in March 2015. Venus and Jupiter shine first thing at nightfall. Jupiter will be near the moon in early March, closest around March 2. Meanwhile, Saturn adorns the late night and predawn sky.
As you well know if you live there, the eastern United States has been in a deep freeze throughout February, 2015. Wave after wave of ice and snowstorms have hit the region. Now, from a photographer and surfer in Nantucket, Jonathan Nimerfroh, we have this amazing photo from February 20, 2015 of an ocean wave, just before it freezes solid. He calls it a slurpee wave.
On Sunday (March 1, 2015) two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will perform the last of Expedition 42’s scheduled spacewalks. The spacewalk will begin around 6:10 a.m. Central Time and is expected to last about 6 hours, 45 minutes. NASA Television coverage on Sunday will begin at 5 a.m. Central time. Watch here
Leave it to Colin Legg – one of the most amazing sky photographers we know – to catch a meteor shower from the window seat of an airplane. Colin wrote to EarthSky:
Valentines day (night), red eye flight back to Perth.
Amazingly, the Alpha Centaurid meteor shower was active!
Tonight’s bright waxing gibbous moon will be bright enough to erase many stars from the blackboard of night. Even so, three stars should be brilliant enough to withstand tonight’s moonlit glare – the Gemini stars, Castor and Pollux, plus Procyon the Little Dog Star. In late February and early March, the moon passes south of the Castor and Pollux, and north of Procyon, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Minor the Lesser Dog.
The farther away we look in space, the deeper we are looking into the past. Astronomers looked 12.8 billion light-years from Earth – to a time only 900 million years after the Big Bang – to see what is currently the brightest quasar known in the early universe. They say it’s seven times brighter than the most distant quasar known. What’s more, it harbors a black hole with mass of 12 billion suns. So it’s the most luminous quasar, with the most massive black hole, among all the known very distant quasars. As if that weren’t enough, this quasar and its monster black hole are located at a special place and time in our universe, at what’s sometimes called the cosmic dawn.
The larger Martian moon, Phobos, is only about about 14 miles (23 km) across. The smaller one, Deimos, is about half that size. These little moons orbit Mars more closely than our moon orbits Earth, but remember … they’re small. Deimos looks like a bright star in Mars’ sky. Phobos looks like a shining gray-white potato! See some pics, and learn some fascinating details about the moons of Mars, as seen from Mars’ surface.
Some say gold and some say blue. Here’s why you see what you see, from the guys at AsapSCIENCE.
Fermilab’s Dark Energy Camera took a break from studying one of the greatest mysteries in modern cosmology – dark energy – to capture this stunning view of Comet Lovejoy – an extremely photogenic comet – on December 27, 2014. At the time this image was taken, the comet was passing about 51 million miles from Earth – a short distance for the Dark Energy Camera, which is sensitive to light up to 8 billion light-years away.
When we talk about the luminosity of a star, we are referring to the star’s intrinsic brightness. We are not talking about the star’s apparent magnitude – its brightness as it appears from Earth. For instance, most every star that you see with the unaided eye is larger and more luminous than our sun. The stars that we see at night are millions – even hundreds of millions – of times farther away than the sun. Regardless, you can still see these distant suns because many of them are hundreds or thousands of times more luminous than our local star.