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Article of the Month: Updated July 11, 2016
Venus and Jupiter prepare for their close-up this August
As Earth speeds along in its annual journey around the Sun, it consistently overtakes the slower-orbiting outer planets, while the inner worlds catch up to and pass Earth periodically. Sometime after an outer world—particularly a slow-moving gas giant—gets passed by Earth, it appears to migrate closer and closer to the Sun, eventually appearing to slip behind it from our perspective. If you've been watching Jupiter this year, it's been doing exactly that, moving consistently from east to west and closer to the Sun ever since May 9th.
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This article is provided by NASA Space Place. With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology. Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov to explore space and Earth science!
Previous month's article:
Hubble's bubble lights up the interstellar rubble
When isolated stars like our Sun reach the end of their lives, they're expected to blow off their outer layers in a roughly spherical configuration: a planetary nebula. But the most spectacular bubbles don't come from gas-and-plasma getting expelled into otherwise empty space, but from young, hot stars whose radiation pushes against the gaseous nebulae in which they were born.
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Play and learn
Simple and fun learning activities to share with children.
The Space Place Experiment Center—Students can conduct real life science experiments and learn how the world works.
Make a Pinwheel Galaxy pinwheel—Make a pinwheel that looks just like M101, the pinwheel galaxy.
Make a Fan with Earth’s Layers—To remember that Earth is much more than just the surface we see every day, make this Earth layer fan.