Here’s a dust devil moving across the surface of the desert world Mars, late in the northern martian spring in the year 2012. Don’t be fooled by the perspective here. Martian dust devils are huge. This one stretches 12 miles (20 km) above the Martian surface. Its core measures about 140 meters (140 yards) in diameter. By contrast, earthly dust devils are only a few tens of meters high and a few meters across.
When our universe came into being – some 13.8 billion years ago – there was no dust. The earliest galaxies didn’t have dust; they were made only of gas. That’s why the discovery of a dust-filled galaxy in the early universe is revealing to astronomers. It indicates to them that galaxies became quickly enriched with dust containing elements such as carbon and oxygen – the raw materials that go into making planets.
Look like your mother? Act like your mother? Maybe so, but a new study says we mammals are more genetically similar to our fathers.
Northern spring – for a few weeks around the March equinox – is a good time to see especially bright meteors, aka fireballs. It’s fireball season — a time of year when bright meteors appear in greater number than usual. In fact, in the weeks around the start of spring, the appearance rate of fireballs can increase by as much as 30 percent.
The Greek letter Beta is normally reserved for the second-brightest star in a constellation. But Pollux wears the designation Beta in its constellation, even though it noticeably outshines Castor, which is Gemini’s Alpha star. Being so close together in the sky, Castor and Pollux are easy to compare. Pollux is golden, while Castor is white. Pollux is brighter than Caster. Follow the links inside for more about Pollux, the brighter Twin star.
As the April 4 lunar eclipse approaches … some interesting composites from the last lunar eclipse.
Tonight’s moon might look full, but the crest of the moon’s full phase comes on March 5, 2015 at 18:05 UTC, or 12:05 p.m. CST. This March full moon will be the third of 2015. It’ll be the Northern Hemisphere’s third and final full moon of winter and the Southern Hemisphere’s third and final full moon of summer.
There’s a total solar eclipse coming up at this month’s equinox. When is the next one after this, and how often do we get an equinox-eclipse?
Scientists offer a template for life that could thrive in the harsh, cold world of Titan, the giant moon of Saturn. It’s not life as we know it.