Cass RC

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APOD: Waterton Lake Eclipse (2014 Feb 17) Image Credit & Copyright: Yuichi Takasaka / TWAN / Explanation: Recorded on April 15th, this total lunar eclipse sequence looks south down icy Waterton Lake from the Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, planet Earth. The most distant horizon includes peaks in Glacier National Park, USA. An exposure every 10 minutes captured the Moon's position and eclipse phase, as it arced, left to right, above the rugged skyline and Waterton town lights. In fact, the sequence effectively measures the roughly 80 minute duration of the total phase of the eclipse. Around 270 BC, the Greek astronomer Aristarchus also measured the duration of lunar eclipses - though probably without the benefit of digital clocks and cameras. Still, using geometry, he devised a simple and impressively accurate way to calculate the Moon's distance, in terms of the radius of planet Earth, from the eclipse duration. This modern eclipse sequence also tracks the successive positions of Mars, above and right of the Moon, bright star Spica next to the reddened lunar disk, and Saturn to the left and below. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

APOD: Ash and Lightning above an Icelandic Volcano (2014 Apr 20) Image Credit & Copyright: Sigurður Stefnisson Explanation: Why did a picturesque 2010 volcanic eruption in Iceland create so much ash? Although the large ash plume was not unparalleled in its abundance, its location was particularly noticeable because it drifted across such well-populated areas. The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in southern Iceland began erupting on 2010 March 20, with a second eruption starting under the center of a small glacier on 2010 April 14. Neither eruption was unusually powerful. The second eruption, however, melted a large amount of glacial ice which then cooled and fragmented lava into gritty glass particles that were carried up with the rising volcanic plume. Pictured above during the second eruption, lightning bolts illuminate ash pouring out of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page #APOD

Study turns skin tissue from infertile men into early-stage sperm cells

Scientists have turned skin tissue from infertile men into early-stage sperm cells in a groundbreaking study that raises hopes for new therapies for the condition.<p>The unexpected success of the procedure has stunned some scientists, because it was thought to be impossible for the men to make any …

What A Tornado Looks Like From Space

NASA released an animation yesterday showing the development of a storm system that generated several violent tornadoes in the South over the weekend. A few seconds into the video, disparate clouds converge, then burst back out, moving rapidly to cover entire states. From there, the storm system …

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