There are numerous meteor showers throughout the year. However, few are as popular, or as reliable, as the Perseids. The celestial show, which occurs when Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, usually starts in mid-July and continues until the last week of August. This year, the best time to view the event will be between August 11 to 13, when our planet traverses through the densest comet dust and the meteors are the brightest and most frequent.
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Stargazers, get ready to witness the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st Century. On July 27, our moon will transform into a red orb for 1 hour, 42 minutes, and 57 seconds! The entire event, from the moment Earth’s shadow starts to fall upon the moon’s edge to the time when the bright full moon emerges, will take almost 4 hours. In comparison, this century’s shortest total lunar eclipse, which occurred on April 4, 2015, lasted a mere 4 minutes and 48 seconds, with a total duration of 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Depending on where you live, today — Thursday, June 21 — is the first day of summer or winter. Also known as the June solstice, it is the day when the North Pole is most inclined towards the sun, allowing residents of the Northern Hemisphere to enjoy the longest day of the year. Conversely, those living in the Southern Hemisphere will experience the shortest day of 2018.
Guatemala’s Volcán de Fuego — Spanish for fire volcano — came alive on Sunday, June 3, billowing gas, fire and ash more than 15,000 feet in the air. The volcano’s most violent eruption since 1974 caused widespread chaos and destruction. The initial death toll of 110 increased to over 300 on June 17 after officials, citing dangerous conditions, abandoned the search for the 200 residents who have been missing since the deadly incident. In contrast, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which has destroyed over 700 structures since it began erupting on May 3, has yet to result in any casualties. Experts say the reason Volcán de Fuego is deadlier than Kilauea has to do with the formation of the two volcanoes.
The quest to discover life outside of Earth has spanned decades and a multitude of galaxies. However, while breakthroughs like the discovery of liquid water on Mars and “Earth-like” exoplanets have raised hopes about the existence of alien life, the distance has made it hard to prove. Now, scientists believe the extraterrestrial life we have been seeking for so long may be on the planet closest to us — Venus.
Though it is not uncommon for the Kilauea volcano on the southern shore of Hawaii’s Big Island to erupt, the recent explosion is the worst encountered in decades. The sea of lava, which has been flowing unabated since May 3, has encompassed 104 acres (the equivalent of 100 football fields), destroyed 35 structures — including 26 homes — and forced almost 2,000 people to evacuate. Unfortunately, even experts have no idea when the volcanic activity will subside.
In mid-March, following an extended period of heavy rainfall, residents of the Mai Mahiu settlement in Kenya woke up to a big surprise – a massive crack in the Earth that appeared to have opened up almost overnight. Running several miles long and measuring 50 feet deep and 65 feet wide in some places, the terrifying fissure damaged several homes and caused a portion of the busy Mai Mahiu Narok-Nairobi highway to collapse. What caused it? Depends on who you ask.
Every month, NASA Observatory’s Earth Matters challenges viewers to describe a mysterious satellite image, the answer to which is posted on the website a week later. However, even the experts could not come up with a definitive explanation for the April puzzler, a photo featuring mysterious ice circles in the Arctic.