Topic: sun

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The 2017 Solar Eclipse from the shores of Palisades Reservoir, Idaho

Stand on the shores of Palisades Reservoir, Idaho as the moon's shadow passes over you and the crowds around you cheer. This awe-inspiring moment of totality, when a new moon blocks the sun's light during a solar ecli...

Eclipses Throughout Our Universe – Out There

An exercise in cosmic geometry. A reminder that we live on one sphere among many, all moving to the laws of Kepler, Newton and Einstein. The moon’s orbit around the Earth is slightly tilted, so the shadow of the new m...

How to watch a total or partial solar eclipse

On Monday, August 21st, 2017, sky gazers can witness a total or partial solar eclipse—weather-permitting and depending on their location on the planet—as it traverses North America. There's been a lot of excitement in...

The Big Dipper Through Time

Stars aren’t still--they move through space. Our Sun and the seven stars that form the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major all orbit the center of the Milky Way at different speeds. So why do today’s constellat...

A full circle rainbow as seen from a construction crane

High over St. Petersburg, Russia, from the top of a construction crane at the Lakhta Center, a huge rainbow can be seen in its full form: a circle. Phil Plait explains the science in his 2014 Bad Astronomy article: ...

Sandwich Bag Fire Starter

The intensity of sunlight on Earth is about 1300 Watts per square meter. When you focus the sun's rays using a magnifying glass (or in this case sphere of water) you can increase the intensity roughly ten thousand fol...

Patouille by Clémentine Campos

A child sits bored on the steps of a house, until he finds joy in soaking up the colors in nature. Patouille, an animated short by Clémentine Campos, who writes that it's "un film réalisé pour les enfants et les gros ...

The Hoarder (1969) – Evelyn Lambart

In this short animation by Evelyn Lambart, a greedy little blue jay carries away whatever his beak can grasp. Berries, birds' eggs (nests and all), and even the sun in the sky go into his secret cache. Nothing is safe...

Mars in a Minute: How Long is a Year on Mars?

One year for any planet is measured by how long it takes to orbit once around the sun. Since Mars is farther away from the sun than Earth, it takes almost twice as long: Earth orbits in 365 days. Mars orbits in 687 Ea...

Designing solar panel walls that can recycle & heat greywater

What if the walls of your house could recycle the wastewater from your sinks, showers, baths, and washing machine? Architect Maria Paz Gutierrez is working with environmental engineer Slav Hermanowicz and bioengineer ...

Here’s Where the Juice That Powers Batteries Comes From

Atomic number 3 on the periodic table, lithium is the 'li' in the li-ion batteries that are inside of our smartphones, laptops, digital cameras, and electric vehicles. Above, Alejandro Bucher gives Bloomberg's Ashlee ...

A winter solstice time lapse in Fairbanks, Alaska

Filmed in time lapse on December 21, 2012 by weather researcher Taro Nakai, enjoy the sun moving low across the sky for the winter solstice in Fairbanks, Alaska, a city that's around 193 kilometers (120 miles) south o...

What Really Causes Sunburns?

Why does your skin turn red and peel when you get a sunburn? In this episode of Gross Science, Anna Rothschild explains what's going on in our skin when it burns from sun exposure.

Osiris-Rex: Chasing Asteroid Bennu – Out There

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx space vehicle launched from Cape Canaveral on September 8, 2016, riding an Atlas V rocket into a seven year long mission to map the asteroid Bennu and the bring a sample of it back to Earth. From Ast...

Juno: Piercing Jupiter’s Clouds

For the last five years, a spacecraft named Juno has traveled across 1.8 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers) to arrive at the planet Jupiter. It will be a historic arrival that culminates in a critical sequence of ...

The Floating Piers by Christo & Jeanne-Claude

Fly high above Italy's Lake Iseo for the opening day of Christo & Jeanne-Claude's The Floating Piers installation. On June 18th, 2016, tourists and locals walked across 7,503 deep saffron-colored panels that wrap arou...

What’s the Waggle Dance? And Why Do Honeybees Do It?

How do bees tell each other where the best flowers are? Behold the waggle dance, the wonderful way that bees communicate their instructions for finding those productive flowers again. Using vibrations, her positioning...

NASA’s SDO captures the Mercury Transit in time lapse

From 7:12am to 2:42pm ET on May 9, 2016, Mercury passed between Earth and the Sun, a rare occurrence called a transit. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured incredible footage of the closest planet to the s...

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