Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

The Northern Hemisphere gets its biggest dose of daylight. Takmeng Wong and the CERES Science Team at NASA Langley Research Center / CC BY

By Stephen Schneider

The summer solstice marks the official start of summer. It brings the longest day and shortest night of the year for the 88 percent of Earth's people who live in the Northern Hemisphere. People around the world traditionally observe the change of seasons with bonfires and festivals and Fête de la Musique celebrations.

Read More Show Less
This image was taken in 2011 over Jökulsárlón, the largest glacial lake in Iceland. The photographer combined six exposures to capture two green auroral rings and their reflections off the lake. NASA / Stephane Vetter / TWAN / Nuits sacrees

By Dirk Lorenzen

2020 will be the year of Mars. The red planet will approach Earth in early October to within 62 million kilometers. Four space agencies are set to take advantage of this close encounter and send spacecraft to Mars. The European Space Agency (ESA) will launch its ExoMars rover on a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome. ExoMars is set to land on the surface, dig into the soil and look for traces of past life. They will be looking for possible living microbes about half a meter below the Martian surface. Above it, harmful cosmic radiation makes life as we know it impossible.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Kelly Kizer Whitt

Relief from the heat of summer and long days baking in the sun is on its way. The Northern Hemisphere's fall equinox occurs on Sept. 22 at 6:54 P.M. PDT. The harvest moon—the full moon that comes closest to the equinox—is just two nights later, on Sept. 24 at 7:53 P.M. PDT. On this date, the moon is in the constellation Pisces.

Read More Show Less
The Perseid meteors shower shot In Aug. 12, 2016, in Inner Mongolia China. Bjdlzx / Getty Images

By Kelly Kizer Whitt

August is the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the free show overhead.

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most prolific annual meteor showers and the only one that occurs in the summer. The Perseids can produce up to 100 meteors an hour at their peak, which is around Aug. 11/12. Skies will be nice and dark thanks to a new moon on Aug. 11, which will make it easier to see even the faintest streaks. Find a location away from trees, buildings and light pollution, and look up to catch the fast-moving meteors as they burn up upon contact with our atmosphere. These meteors come from the Great Comet of 1862, Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Kelly Kizer Whitt

Known since ancient times, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can normally all be seen with the naked eye. Greeks called them "wandering stars" or "asteres planetai." This July, all five move into positions that make for optimal viewing.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Kelly Kizer Whitt

Although June is the month with the least amount of darkness, for many, stargazing ramps up this month. It's finally warm enough in much of the U.S. to lounge outside, even at night. Barbecues, sports events and other activities have people lingering in the great outdoors until after sunset, when they can watch the first stars appear.

Read More Show Less
Jupiter comes into opposition on May 9. NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute

By Kelly Kizer Whitt

On May 9, Jupiter reaches opposition, when from our earthly point of view, it will be opposite the sun in the sky. Stargazers consider opposition the best time to view a planet, because it rises at sunset and sets at sunrise, making it visible all night long.

Read More Show Less
Infrared images of South African Rhinos. Endangered Wildlife Trust / LJMU

Attendees at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS), hosted in Liverpool, UK from April 3 to 6, had the chance to hear a surprising presentation.

Read More Show Less

Trending

By Kelly Kizer Whitt

Venus is often mistaken for a plane because of its brilliance; it shines more brightly than all the other planets because of its location close to Earth and its thick, reflective clouds. The common phrase "the evening star" usually doesn't refer to a star at all; it's Venus. When it stands alone in the west after sunset, as it has over the past month, Venus is the first bright object to burst through the fading twilight.

Read More Show Less
Assja / iStock

By Kelly Kizer Whitt

This month, our days will finally become "longer." Clocks will spring forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, March 11. At the same time, the Northern Hemisphere is shifting from winter to spring, which means longer days are also coming naturally. The equinox falls on March 20, when the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west.

Read More Show Less
iStock

By Sabine Bergmann

For millennia, human beings have gazed into the firmament and been awed by the thousands of stars, galaxies, nebulae and other cosmic wonders visible to the naked eye. But in recent generations, much of humanity has become divorced from these marvels. Today, at least 80 percent of people living in the United States and Europe are so inundated with light pollution that they can't even see our own Milky Way, let alone our neighboring galaxies like Andromeda.

Read More Show Less