Showers are forecast for this week, but for once this summer, that's a good thing.
The annual Perseids meteor shower is lighting up the skies, but you either have to go to bed late or get up early to see the best of it.
The largest meteor shower of the year, the Perseids occurs when the earth slips through a cloud of debris -- known as dross -- left by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, the largest comet that passes close to Earth.
The Perseid meteor shower gets its name because it appears to be coming from the arm of Perseus, the constellation near the famous Double Cluster. Perseid meteors tend to be fairly bright and close to half of them leave long, bright trails.
The Perseids are so-called because the point they appear to come from, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus and it's a translation of the Greek word which is also refered as Perseides.
Canadian astronaut orbiting Earth received an honorary degree - a first in space - on Wednesday during a long-distance call from his college alma mater.
Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk dons a convocation cape as he receives an honorary degree from the University of Calgary on July 8, 2009.
After receiving his degree, Thirsk stressed the importance of education to Canada's space exploration efforts.
"When I was a student at University of Calgary 33 years ago, I had a dream of one day flying in space and being an astronaut," he said. "Fulfilling that dream is a great feeling. Education really is the key to making your dreams come true."
Buzz Aldrin is approaching 80 years of age, and he's decided it's not time to mince words. Not only is he rapping about what he accomplished during his astronaut career, but in today's online version of Popular Mechanics Buzz wrote an article outlining what he believes NASA's path and vision should be for the next few years and into the next few decades. He's a man with a plan, and he calls it the "Unified Space Vision." He will present his plan to the Augustine Commission, an independent council appointed by President Obama to review NASA's human spaceflight objectives.
The Mars Science Laboratory rover, scheduled for launch in 2011, now has a new name, thanks to a sixth-grade student from Kansas. Twelve-year-old Clara Ma submitted the winning entry, Curiosity in the name-the-rover contest for schoolchildren, sponsored by NASA. We have been eager to call the rover by name, said Pete Theisinger, who manages the JPL team building and testing Curiosity. Giving it a name worthy of this missions quest means a lot to the people working on it.
For winning the naming contest, Clara gets to sign her name directly on the rover.
Messier 74 is one of the best examples we can see of a grand design spiral galaxy, much like our own Milky Way. In the case of M74, its conveniently facing face on, so we can see intricate details in all parts of the galaxys structure.
The bright pink areas in the spiral arms are huge, short lived clouds of hydrogen gas glowing from the newborn stars inside them. The dark dust lanes that extend out along the spiral arms contain a new generation of blue stars.
M74 was first discovered by the French astronomer Pierre Mechain in 1780, and then added to Charles Messiers famous catalogue of deep sky objects. Of all the objects in the catalogue, its one of the faintest, and has been nicknamed The Phantom Galaxy by amateur astronomers trying to spot it in their telescopes.
So thanks Hubble, feel free to celebrate any holiday, celebration or random even you like. Just keep the pictures coming.
Spacewalker Michael T. Good is seen in this view from the elbow camera of the space shuttle Atlantis' robot arm with the Hubble Space Telescope in the background in this image from NASA TV May 15, 2009.
Several hundred never before seen galaxies are visible in this 'deepest-ever' view of the universe, called the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), made with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in this image released by NASA May 4, 2009.
The International Space Station as seen from the Space Shuttle Discovery. The shuttle and its crew of seven is preparing to return to Earth after a 13-day mission in orbit, including nine days at the ISS.
This undated handout photo courtesy of NASA shows a sunset over the Arctic. The Canadian government on Friday reaffirmed its Arctic claims, saying it will defend its northern territories and waters after Russia earlier announced plans to militarize the North
The Space Shuttle Discovery is visible with parts of the International Space Station after the orbiting pair undocked in this image from NASA TV March 25, 2009.
Members of the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Discovery crews embrace as they exchange farewells during hatch closing ceremonies aboard the station in this image from NASA TV March 25, 2009
The Spitzer Space Telescope is close to running out of coolant. Around May 12, the telescope will use up the last drop of the coolant that chills the instruments to just a few degrees above absolute zero. Everyone knew this was coming, but still it is sobering news. However, even though the coolant will be depleted, Spitzer will remain cold enough to still probe the universe with its infrared detectors for at least a couple of years. But we all like to think these missions will go on forever. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory shared this news in one of the more creative press releases ever put out by any NASA center: they interviewed the telescope. That’s right, the telescope. Not the principal investigator, not the chief engineer, but the telescope itself.
The appearance of the Magiis only told in the Gospel ofMatthew, where the Magi (from magos, a Greek word for priests of Ancient Babylon and Persia) from the East, led by a star, go in search of Jesus whom they expect is to be “the King of Jews”.
The magos or magi were originally a clan of the Medes who formed the priestly class in Persia (modern-day Iran). They were extremely well-educated and specialized in medicine, religion, astronomy, astrology, divination and magic. There is no hint of them being royalty, other than the fact that they received an audience with king Herod.
The astronomical phenomenon of the Star of Bethlehem appears to be explained more as a miracle than as a momentaryconjunction of the planets of Jupiter and Saturn(6 BC) or the brilliant but violent display of stellar light for a few months from a supernova or the tail of Halley's Comet (11 BC); additionally, the star un-astronomically traveled before the Magi, then stood still.
The art of astrology, the study of the stars in order to predict future events, and to interpret people's characters, was already very advanced before the Greeks began to interest themselves in the stars. The Egyptians and especially the Mesopotamians had done a lot of scientific observations and had named the constellations of stars, and many individual stars.
The Greek contribution to astronomy was not so much in observation as it was in applying logical thinking and geometry to these observations. That is how Greek scientists figured out that the earth went around the sun, calculated the size of the earth, and understood that the moon went around the earth.
Some famous Greek astronomers were Anaxagoras, who figured out what caused eclipses,
Aristarchus, who figured out that the earth went around the sun,
and Thales, who figured out that the earth was round.
Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888).
Astrology (from Greek: "star"; "word" or "speech") is a group of systems,traditions, and beliefs in which knowledge of the apparent relative positions ofcelestial bodies and related details is held to be useful in understanding, interpreting, and organizing information about personality, human affairs, and other terrestrial matters.
The Chinese Zodiac is a 12 year cycle. Each year of the 12 year cycle is named after one of the original 12 animals. Each animal has a different personality and different characteristics. The animal is believed to be the main factor in each person's life that gives them their traits, success, and happiness in their lifetime.
The Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle. Chinese Star signs : are a mixture and connection of geomancy, astronomy and astrology. In short, the sun, moon and stars are thought to have an influence over the moral conduct of people.
Cetus - (Ketos, referring to the sea monster Cetus) is a constellation of the northern winter sky, in the region known as the Water, near other watery constellations like Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.
Cetus lies far from the galactic plane, so many distant galaxies are visible, unobscured by dust from the MilkyWay.
In Greek mythology, Cetus (Greek: Ketos), also called Ceto or Cetea, was a hideous sea monster, a daughter of Gaia and Pontus.
In Greek art, Cetus was drawn as a serpentine fish. Cetus also gave name to the constellationCetus.
In Jonah 2:1 (1:17 in English translation), the Hebrew text reads dag gadol,which literally means "great fish." The Septuagint translates this phrase into Greek as ketos megas. The term ketos alone means "huge fish," and in Greek mythology the term was closely associated with sea monsters. Jerome later translated this phrase as piscis granda in his Latin Vulgate. However, he translated ketos as cetus in Matthew 12:40.
Ancient Corinthian vase depicting Perseus, Andromeda and Ketos.
Gilster analyzes a new paper by Greg Laughlin and Ryan Montgomery that looks at whether Earth-class planets might be found in the habitable zone around red dwarfs. These stars make up over 70 percent of the galactic population, so such a result would mean vast numbers of potentially habitable planets.
Ground-based Image of NGC 266 with Sn 2005gl. Credit: Puckett Observatory
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has identified a star a million times brighter than the sun that exploded as a supernova in 2005 —