Two two ancient, colliding, giant elliptical galaxies appear to have a bridge of young, blue super star clusters evenly spaced in a winding chain between them. The chain of star clusters, which is 100,000 light-years long – or about the size of our entire Milky Way galaxy – winds in a corkscrew shape around the two giant ellipticals.
UPDATE JULY 10 AT 1815 UTC (1:15 P.M. CDT). Experts are now reporting that today’s bright meteor – widely reported over southeastern Australia today (July 10, 2014) – was not a piece of natural space debris, but instead was the reentry of the upper state of a Soyuz rocket, launched on July 8. It seems the meteor was part of the vehicle used to launch Russia’s second Meteor-M weather satellite.
A video based on fossils of an ancient extinct arachnid – one of the first predators on land – recreates the animal walking.
The next eclipse is a total eclipse of the full moon – the Northern Hemisphere’s full Hunter’s Moon – on the night of October 7-8, 2014. Can’t wait? Follow the links inside to learn the dates for upcoming solar and lunar eclipses for the rest of 2014 and 2015. Enjoy.
Migrating Arctic shorebirds may play an important role in the long-distance dispersal of mosses and liverworts to remote regions in North and South America.
July 10, 1962. This date marks the launch of Telstar 1, the first communications satellite capable of relaying television signals from Europe to North America, by a Delta rocket. Telstar – a 171-pound, 34.5-inch sphere loaded with transistors and covered with solar panels – relayed its first signal just hours after its launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first transmitted images showed an American flag outside of a receiving station in Andover, Maine.
2014 has been a great year for noctilucent, or night-shining, clouds, seen at high latitudes only from about mid-May to mid-July. Wondrous, if you can catch them!
The planet Mercury left the evening sky to enter the morning sky on June 19, 2014. Even so, Mercury is only now getting far enough from the rising sun to become visible in the morning sky. Find an unobstructed eastern horizon, and start your Mercury search about 75 minutes before sunrise if you live at mid-northern latitudes, or about 90 minutes before sunup if you live in the Southern Hemisphere.
Since early in the 20th century, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has taken it upon itself to be the official source of names for space objects. In response to public interest, the IAU has now organized a worldwide contest to give popular names to selected exoplanets along with their host stars. Cool, yes?
Stores are full of probiotic products, but are we any closer to understanding if and how they work?