skytalk

Summertime is running out!


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Summer is quickly coming to an end as daylight hours get shorter and we come across the Autumnal equinox. This is when the Earth will reach a certain point in its orbit around the sun on September 22nd, 2012. For us it brings the beautiful weather conditions of Autumn. Also on that day, we swing into position for great viewing of the moon, which you can observe with the rest of the world during International Observe the Moon Night. The Franklin Institute will have programs all day long for folks to get involved. Even though it’s not Winter yet on Earth, there is snow fall on the Southern half of Mars. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has detected clouds forming with carbon dioxide snow. Dry Ice snow is falling from big clouds that are forming over the South pole of the planet. It must be pretty cold on Mars for this to happen, at least 193 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit, to get C02 to form, which goes from a gas right into a solid. Remarkably this doesn’t happen on any other planet in the solar system. Also, don’t miss what’s in the night sky this week. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.

Visit these sites for an incredible trove of information and images of Mars: HIRISE orbiter and Curiosity Science Lab

Photo by Flickr user Zhu



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