All posts by Bob Berman

The Full Moon: Strangely Alien

The Full Moon: Strangely Alien

The next Full Moon is Saturday night, December 18. It’ll be the highest-up Full Moon of the year, and will attain that overhead position at midnight.  Very cool, but why tell you all about it more than a month early? It’s sort of a lame excuse, but we mistakenly ran the illustration for it last week, with no caption, guaranteed to produce bewilderment in any sane person. So clip this out and save this article until then — or indeed for any Full Moon. Because you really should realize why they’re so special.

Are dental Xrays and mammograms good for you?

Are dental Xrays and mammograms good for you?

Colonizing other planets means living with increased radiation. Starting in 1969, when the first of 24 astronauts ventured beyond both our planet›s atmosphere and its magnetosphere, they left behind all layers of cosmic ray protection. US astronaut Shannon Lucid cites this hazard as the biggest challenge in space exploration.

The Night Sky: Meteorites and MeteorWrongs

The Night Sky: Meteorites and MeteorWrongs

Two weeks ago, a woman lying in bed in her home near Vancouver heard a loud noise, felt pieces of her ceiling falling on her and then discovered a black fist-sized meteorite on the pillow a few inches from her head. Seems impossible, but a house in North America is struck every 1.3 years on average. 

The Night Sky: Secret patterns

The Night Sky: Secret patterns

Violent thunderstorms with their accompanying destructiveness and phenomena like roll clouds and shelf clouds are rare during our cold half of the year, now beginning in the Hudson Valley.

Night Sky: See a halo this week

Night Sky: See a halo this week

The reduced sunlight strength sufficiently cools the air above us that it’s increasingly common to stand below clouds made not of water droplets, but bits of ice. These crystals are almost always six-sided and have very specific (and glorious) effects on sunlight hitting them. One of them is to create the common 22° halo.

The equinox and the Harvest Moon

The equinox and the Harvest Moon

The start of fall arrives with the autumnal equinox next Wednesday, September 22 at 3:21 p.m. That’s when the midday Sun hovers directly over the equator so that neither of Earth’s hemispheres gets more sunlight than the other.