Month: August 2016

Scientists discover earth-like planet in Alpha Centauri star system – say hello to Proxima-B!

  Astronomers say it’s the most exciting thing since Childress’s 2003 Anti-Gravity Handbook (which they claim is impossible to put down) – the discovery of a new earth-like planet creatively named Proxima-B. It’s an incredible discovery because Proxima-B is roughly the same size as earth, the same mass as earth, and orbits a star in the habitable zone (the distance from the star which allows liquid water to exist). This of course means, yes, little green aliens! Proxima-B’s star, Proxima Centauri, is part of a triple-star system called Alpha Centauri and is the closest star to Earth. The three stars in Alpha Centauri include Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B, and Proxima Centauri (the star Proxima-B was found orbiting around). You can see Alpha Centauri in the night

NASA satellite captures comet plunging into Sun at a mind-boggling 373 miles per second!

A sungrazer comet (technically known as Kreutz sungrazers) crashed into the sun on August 4, 2016 and lucky for us, the entire event was captured on video by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Analysis of the video shows the comet plunged into the sun at a mind-boggling 373 miles per second! That’s 1.34 million miles per hour! At that speed, you could drive completely around the earth in about a minute. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments of larger comets, called Kreutz comets, that have broken apart as they neared the sun. When the sun pulls these smaller fragments toward it, they accelerate until eventually, they are vaporized by the intense forces near the sun. Kreutz comets travel around the sun on a path called the Kreutz path.

Algae invasion! Sea Ghosts create beautiful light show on China’s beach

  China's Xiangbi'ao beach shone with a majestic sparkling glow-in-the-dark blue hue last week after a natural phenomenon called "Sea Ghosts" invaded the waters.  Sea Ghost or "Sea Sparkle" is created by the growth of an algal bloom called Noctiluca scintallans, a type of single-cell animal that loves to munch on plankton.  The organisms multiply when nitrogen and phosphorus from farm fertilizer run-off enters the water.  Beautiful, yes - but harmful to the ecosystem.  When the blooms die, they sink to the bottom of the sea where they decompose, consuming huge amounts of oxygen and killing other marine life. Check out the Sea Sparkle on China's Xiangbi'ao beach in the pictorial gallery below.