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 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.
I only wanted to travel to Afghanistan because one night, in a cafe in southern France, my husband unfurled from his back pocket a map of the world. He asked me to pick another country. I saw land-locked Afghanistan, lonely and remote and I decided in my 23rd year that I might, someday, have a story to tell about a place few people in my circle would have ever visited.
This coming Tuesday, the 14th, Neptune reaches its closest approach to us for the year. It’s an enormous blue ball big enough to let 58 planet Earths fit inside.
Researchers recently found the farthest-ever galaxy, a Hubble smudge at a distance of around 13 billion light years.
Light determines what we see and know. But what is it?
Coastal civilizations forever noticed that the ocean’s rhythmic rise and fall mostly followed the Moon’s position. But how could this be? We orbit the huge massive Sun, not the lightweight Moon. Why should the Sun have the dominant gravitational effect on us — and yet the Moon boasts the greater tidal pull?
August is when the sky transitions from its least number of faint stars (in the spring) to its greatest number, from September through December.
One planet never disappoints. Through any telescope with more than 30x, Saturn elicits gasps. Oddly enough, photos of the ringed world do not pack the same punch. You have to see it for yourself.
Because of a promise I made to myself — inspired by the current polarized political climate, as well as Covid causing so much social separation — to reach out to people different than me.