Category Archives: Earth Facts

Great American Total Solar Eclipse 2017

There will be a total solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, and the United States will be the best country to watch. It will be also the first total solar eclipse to go coast to coast in the U.S. in 99 years. From Oregon to South Carolina, 70-mile Moon-shadow will race across the U.S. and it will completely block out the Sun for a few minutes. It’s still more than seven months away, but hotels already are selling out as people prepare for the rare and amazing event.

On January 5, 2017, NASA has published the map of the event’s path announcing “…thanks to elevation data of the moon from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, coupled with detailed NASA topography data of Earth, we have the most accurate maps of the path of totality for any eclipse to date.”

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If Andromeda Galaxy were brighter, this is what we’d see

Andromeda Galaxy is the farthest object in the sky that we can see with the naked eye. But if you don’t know where to look, you won’t notice it. But if it were much brighter, its appearance in the sky would be sensational. The moon is a good reference about what we’d see in the image below:

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The Size Of Earth Compared to Other Planets and Stars (and the Universe)

When it comes to big numbers, very big numbers, the human brain is weak. In fact, our brains cannot deal with really large numbers. That’s why when the subject is Earth, planets, Solar System, galaxies, and in general, the Universe, we cannot truly conceptualize the things. A lot of people think we’re “conquering” space (we are far, far away from that – and maybe we never will), or the “aliens” are regularly visiting Earth as if it is just an hour’s drive from there. In fact, these people don’t truly understand what are they talking about, how big is the universe, how far the stars are, and how the Earth is a tiny, tiny spot in a vast space we are still striving to understand.

But we can try to understand and conceptualize. To put things into a perspective, YouTube user morn1415 prepared a video (he updated a previous video with the new findings in the astronomy).

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How Eratosthenes calculated the Earth’s circumference

In 240 BC, the Greek astronomer, geographer, mathematician, music theorist and librarian Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c. 276 BC – c. 195/194 BC) calculated the circumference of the Earth without even leaving Egypt. Here’s how:

Eratosthenes knew that at local noon on the summer solstice (at the time of the longest day, about 21 June in the northern hemisphere) in Syene (modern Aswan, Egypt), the Sun was directly overhead – Syene was in fact slightly north of the tropic, though (1). Local noon is – technically when the sub-solar point is somewhere over your meridian, it’s noon for you. So, on that day, Syene is the sub-solar point of Earth (the sub-solar point on a planet is where its sun is perceived to be directly overhead). To learn more about the local noon and the subsolar point, see the article titled “How Earth Moves“.

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Planet Earth II Official Extended Trailer

In 2006, Planet Earth, the British television series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit “has changed our view of the world”. It was the first nature documentary series filmed in high definition. It took five years in the making and it was the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC. Now, ten years later, in February 2016, the BBC announced a six-part sequel had been commissioned, titled Planet Earth II. On October 2016, BBC released the new series’ trailer.

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