Winter solstice: The astronomy of Christmas

From the Neolithic to present times, the amount of sunlight we see in a day has had a profound impact on human culture. We are fast approaching the winter solstice for the Northern hemisphere, which takes place on December ...

Moon is key to when jellyfish hit beach, study finds

Swimmers wanting to avoid being stung by jellyfish may want to watch the sky as much as the sea after Israeli researchers found a link between their arrival and the phase of the moon.

An ancient Mayan Copernicus

For more than 120 years the Venus Table of the Dresden Codex—an ancient Mayan book containing astronomical data—has been of great interest to scholars around the world. The accuracy of its observations, especially the ...

Ancient Egyptians described Algol's eclipses

The Ancient Egyptian papyrus Cairo 86637 calendar is the oldest preserved historical document of naked eye observations of a variable star, the eclipsing binary Algol - a manifestation of Horus, a god and a king. This calendar ...

Late summer tales of Tanabata

One of the surest signs that late summer is here in the northern hemisphere is the arrival of the Milky Way in the early evening sky. As darkness falls ever earlier each night, the star-dappled plane of our home galaxy sits ...

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