the first gif shows one full year of full moons between may 2005 and april 2006. its size at perigee (when nearest to us) and apogee (farthest from us) differs by more than 10%. the wobble, due to the moon’s elliptical orbit and slight axial tilt and inclination, is know as lunar libration. (this is not to be confused with lunar libation, which is fancy speak for moonshine.) the second gif shows the moon’s phase and libration during october of 2007.
TED’s attempt to CENSOR this unbelievable video by Graham Hancock is no good on tumblr. Seriously watch this, Graham does a fantastic job explainging the necessity of psychedelics (specifically Mother Ayuhuasca) and their role in human consciousness.
Solar activity ramps up as giant sunspot group turns to face Earth
The Sun is finally acting like it’s in solar maximum. Our Sun has emitted dozens of solar flares in since Oct. 23, 2013, with at least six big X-class flares. Just today it blasted out a X1.1 flare at 04:32 UT (11:32 p.m. EST on Nov. 7, 2013). While old Sol had been fairly quiet for the time where it was supposed to be active in its normal 11-year cycle, only recently has activity ramped up with increased flares and sunspots. During 2013, there has been intermittent strong activity (like this and this in May), but the activity since mid-October is really the first extended period of activity.
Speaking of sunspots, a huge group called designated as AR 1890 has turned to face Earth. Thanks to astrophotographer Ron Cottrell for capturing the group today, above. Spaceweather.com reports that this sunspot has a trend of producing very brief flares. The X1-flare today was no exception as it lasted barely a minute. NOAA is forecasting a 60% chance of M-class solar flares and a 20% chance of X-flares on Nov. 8th from this sunspot group.
This colorful view from NASA’s Cassini mission is the highest-resolution view of the unique six-sided jet stream at Saturn’s north pole known as “the hexagon”. This movie, made from images obtained by Cassini’s imaging cameras, is the first to show the hexagon in color filters, and the first movie to show a complete view from the north pole down to about 70 degrees north latitude.
Saturn’s hexagon is a persisting six sided cloud pattern around the north pole of the planet. It is created by a band of upper-atmospheric winds, and the sides of it are about 13,800 km (8,600 mi) long, which is longer than the Earth’s diameter. There’s a hurricane swirling within the hexagon.