If you have clear skies and a view of the western horizon, you are in for a celestial treat this week. Starting tonight, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury will be having a “star party” in the west just after sunset. Jupiter is actually setting while Mercury is rising (due to how our point of view is changing as we all go around the Sun), but all three will appear together in the sky over the next week or so. Planetary conjunctions of three planets are not all that rare, happening approximately every few years with a varying roster of planets, but they are still a treat to see. Space.com has a nice viewing guide, including a video of what configuration you can expect to see each night. And Stardate.org has a free podcast on what they call the upcoming “evening [planet] traffic jam.” Here’s hoping you get to see the fun. Me? I’ll be searching for a place where Jersey doesn’t block my view…
More geek for your week:
- Speaking of dances, the crazy dance of the cicadas is captured BEAUTIFULLY in this documentary trailer by Samuel Orr, who’s also done some other really wonderful videos.
- More beautiful imagery captured by photographer Joshua Lambus in his “Blackwater” series of luminous creatures of the ocean.
- Amazing photos and video of the Oklahoma tornado as seen from space. [VIDEO]
- Someone built a flight simulator based on Battlestar Galactica’s Vipers. I want to go to there. [VIDEO]
- What do you get when you combine facial recognition software and Google Earth? This.
- If Darth Vader has been a good dad from the point of view of both Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
- X-rays from 1908 reveal the extent to which women’s corsets squeezed their lower rib cage, and most likely displaced organs. Beauty is pain?
- Scientists deduce mysterious deaths in a valley in India discovered in 1942 were from a freak hailstorm in 850 AD.
- Watch the last three years of activity on the Sun in three minutes. [VIDEO]
- DNA tests on seized ivory may enable the identification of elephant poaching hot spots.
- New studies of the ring nebula reveal it is much less like a ring and more like a jelly bean, or according to some: a space jelly donut. [VIDEO]
- Who defines time best: Ray Bradbury, Star Trek, or The Doctor? Neil Tyson give his two cents. [VIDEO]
Keep on geekin’ on. @Summer_Ash