The transit of Venus across the sun is one of the rarest celestial sights visible from Earth, one that wowed scientists and amateur observers around the world Tuesday (June 5). The event, arguably the most anticipated skywatching display of the year, marked the last time Venus will cross the sun (as seen from Earth) for 105 years. Venus transits occur when Venus reaches a point in its orbit that brings the planet directly between the Earth and the sun.
On June 5th, 2012, Venus will pass across the face of the sun, producing a silhouette that no one alive today will likely see again. Transits of Venus are very rare, coming in pairs separated by more than a hundred years. This June’s transit, the bookend of a 2004-2012 pair, won’t be repeated until the year 2117. Fortunately, the event is widely visible. Observers on seven continents, even a sliver of Antarctica, will be in position to see it.
A so-called annular solar eclipse, which took place on May 20, was seen across the globe from late afternoon to early evening, beginning in East Asia and traveling across to the western United States. In an annular solar eclipse, the moon does not completely block the sun, but leaves a fiery ring around its circumference. Observers along a narrow path were well placed to see the full annular solar eclipse, but skywatchers elsewhere (with the exception of the U.S. East Coast) caught a stunning partial eclipse.
On May 20 a solar eclipse will block out most of the sun, leaving a spectacular “ring of fire” shining in the sky for observers located along the eclipse’s path. The event is what’s known as an annular solar eclipse, from the Latin “annulus,” meaning “little ring”, and its full glory should be visible from much of Asia, the Pacific region and some of western North America, weather permitting. At its peak, the eclipse will block about 94 percent of the sun’s light.
Samsung has launched its Galaxy S III smartphone, which it hopes will help solidify the company as the leading challenger to Apple and its iPhone 4S. The new smartphone, with a whopping 4.8-inch screen and an 8-megapixel camera, was unveiled at a slick launch party in London on Thursday. Billed by Samsung as having been designed for humans, the phone features voice and eye-recognition technology that the company hopes will set the handset ahead of its rivals in the crowded smartphone market.
A Russian space capsule touched down on the steppes of Kazakhstan in Central Asia on April 27, safely returning a joint U.S.-Russian crew to Earth after months aboard the International Space Station. The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft landed at 7:45 a.m. EDT (1145 GMT), less than four hours after undocking from the space station. Riding home aboard the space capsule were NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who were reintroduced to the strong tug of Earth’s gravity after spending 165 days, or nearly 5 1/2 months, in orbit.
On June 5-6 of this year, a rare celestial event, called a transit of Venus, will take place.Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. Venus and Earth are often called twins because they are similar in size, mass, density, composition and gravity. During the transit, Venus will pass directly in front of the sun from Earth’s perspective, appearing as a small, slowly moving black dot.
According to article published in the journal PLoS may be a previously unknown human species have been identified in southern China. The bones, which represent at least five individuals, have been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago. But scientists are calling them simply the Red Deer Cave people, after one of the sites where they were unearthed. As said study co-leader Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales, Australia they are trying to be very careful at this stage about definitely classifying them.
In a new study, scientists have named two new horned dinosaur species based on fossils collected from Alberta, Canada. The new species, Unescopceratops koppelhusae and Gryphoceratops morrisoni, are from the Leptoceratopsidae family of horned dinosaurs. The herbivores lived during the Late Cretaceous period between 75-83 million years ago. According to Michael Ryan, lead author of the study from The Cleveland Museum of Natural History these dinosaurs fill important gaps in the evolutionary history of small-bodied horned dinosaurs that lack the large horns and frills of relatives like Triceratops from North America.