Posts Tagged 'night sky'

Carbon dioxide explained

Carbon dioxide explained

If you know any skeptics regarding carbon dioxide, or who are not freaked by the earth’s still-new milestone of hitting 400 parts per million, just point upward any night, and show them how it operates elsewhere in the universe.

Beauty from your backyard: The most amazing Evening Star ever

Beauty from your backyard: The most amazing Evening Star ever

We are all finding new ways to have fun at home. Naturally and predictably, I’m recommending you step into your backyard and simply look up around dinnertime, just as darkness falls. So happens, this is a most extraordinary time to gaze at the heavens. Halfway up the western sky you’ll see an unbelievably bright “star.” This is of course the planet Venus, also known as the Evening Star.

SuperMoons are not a thing

SuperMoons are not a thing

Media outlets such as Earth and Sky are saying that we are entering a “SuperMoon season,” with three SuperMoons in a row, on March 9, April 8 and May 7. Yet there’s no mention of this in any of the world’s astronomical publications. Something strange seems to be afoot.

Quantum mechanics: stranger than you can imagine

Quantum mechanics: stranger than you can imagine

In 1935, Albert Einstein and two colleagues, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, wrote a now-famous paper in which they addressed one particular aspect of quantum theory. Examining the prediction that particles created together (“entangled”) can somehow know what the other is doing, the physicists argued that any such parallel behavior must be due to local effects, some contamination of the experiment, rather than some sort of “spooky action at a distance.” But recent experiments, including additional ones from 2015, show that Einstein was wrong.

Mercurial personality

Mercurial personality

Mercury alters its brightness more than any other planet, varying by three hundredfold. Each year its light goes from fainter than the “Seven Sisters” to more than double the brilliance of the Dog Star Sirius, the brightest star. These nights it’s near its brightest, but it’s fading rapidly.

The stars by name: You say tomato and I’ll say Betelgeuse

The stars by name: You say tomato and I’ll say Betelgeuse

Remember the movie Contact, starring Jodie Foster? She contacted aliens from a famous star that in the movie was pronounced “VAY-ga.” Well, that star’s name was spelled Wega for centuries, and spoken as “WEE-ga,” meaning a falling eagle in Arabic. It evolved to be spelled Vega and spoken as “VEE-ga” in the 19th century. And it remains “VEE-ga” today. Those who Latinize it as “VAY-ga” are getting it wrong.