A Study in Scarlet
ESO: This new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that causes the surrounding hydrogen to glow with a characteristic red hue.
Continue reading via ESO
What is a lunar eclipse tetrad and where will you be able to see it [starting tonight]? | Video Credit: ScienceAtNASA | Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech, & Joe Rao/Space.com.
On April 15, 2014, an extraordinary series of total lunar eclipses will begin in the United States. This series, called a lunar eclipse tetrad, will result in four red moons over the course of a year and a half. NASA explains the significance behind this phenomenon, and sheds light on how the moon transforms into a bright red orb. Via TED-Ed
When and where it will be visible:
The first total lunar eclipse of 2014 occurs in the overnight hours tonight (April 14) and will be visible across most of North America, South America, Hawaii and parts of Alaska. Depending on your location, it begins either late tonight or in the wee hours of Tuesday, but as with every skywatching event, you can only see it if Mother Nature cooperates.
Tonight’s lunar eclipse runs from 12:53 a.m. EDT (0453 GMT) to about 6 a.m. EDT (1000 GMT). If bad weather spoils your view, or you live in Europe or elsewhere outside the visibility zone, you can always watch live webcasts of the total lunar eclipse on Space.com, courtesy of NASA, the Slooh community telescope, the Virtual Telescope Project.
What happens during lunar eclipses?
Lunar eclipses happen when the moon is in the full moon stage and passes through part or all of the Earth’s shadow, darkening the moon’s typically bright glow. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is entirely immersed in Earth shadow, and can take on a dusky “blood red” colour due to the scattering of sunlight through the edges of Earth’s atmosphere. Such moons are sometimes nicknamed “Blood Moons.”
Tonight’s lunar eclipse is the first of four consecutive total eclipses of the moon between April 2014 and September 2015 in what scientists call a lunar eclipse “tetrad”
series. The next total lunar eclipse will occur on Oct. 8 and is also expected to be visible from much of North America. Via Space.com
Read more about 2014’s Lunar Eclipse Tetrad:
Earth’s Siblings: Inside The Planets
Click each for a neat and informative view of the neighboring planets in our Solar System.
I've been hearing conspiracies about the Blood Moon eclipse, what is that exactly?
I think it’s just what people are calling the lunar eclipse that’s happening tonight (which you should totally have a look at if it’s visible in your area). A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth is directly between the Sun and the Moon, and the Earth’s shadow covers the Moon. Some say it holds religious and astrological significance, which may be where the conspiracies you’ve heard come from. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about it so don’t worry - sit back outside and enjoy the show. :)
Here’s where the eclipse will be visible:
Mars is just above the Moon right now, and it’s still pretty close to opposition (when it lies opposite the Sun in the sky and is therefore near maximum brightness.) Go look at it, it’s really bright and you can see its distinctive red colour!
"Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know."
Jeremy Knowles, discussing the complete lack of recognition Cecilia Payne gets, even today, for her revolutionary discovery. (via alliterate
Today (April 8) is the best time of the year to spot and watch Mars!
The planet is at the point in its orbit where it is roughly closest to Earth, making it appear bigger and brighter. It’s visible almost all night, so if you have a chance, grab binoculars or a telescope and see Mars with your own eyes! The red planet appears as a ruddy shiny star in the constellation Virgo. (Image: NASA, edited by me)
Tonight Mars is at opposition, which means that it is directly opposite the Sun in the sky, making it lovely and bright. Our closest approach won’t be until the 14th though, due to the elliptically of the orbits (they aren’t perfectly circular). However, don’t worry if you won’t be able to catch it, as Mars will still be looking good for a while yet.