Map of Kazan, Russia

Map of Kazan, Russia.

Map of Kaliningrad, Russia

Map of Kaliningrad, Russia.

Moonset among rock formations at dusk, White Desert, Egypt

Moonset among rock formations at dusk, White Desert, Egypt.
Photograph by Alberto Mateo.
Location: Banī ‘Adī al Baḩrīyah, Al Wadi al Jadid, Egypt.

How Was the Grand Canyon Formed?

In the 19th century, many people believed that landscapes like the Grand Canyon were shaped by volcanoes and earthquakes. But one American geologist named John Newberry had different ideas.

A rare Blue Moon lunar eclipse will happen this month

One of the more exciting events of 2017 was the total solar eclipse that was viewable across the US. And if you enjoyed it as much as I did, I have some good news for you. While the US won't be getting another look at a total solar eclipse until 2024, parts of the US will get to see another rare eclipse in 2018 and they'll get to check it out this month.

On January 31st, there will be a total lunar eclipse. What makes this one so special is that it's happening during a Blue Moon, or the second full moon of the month (depending on which definition you go by). These two events haven't coincided since 1866, making this one the first in over 150 years. The next one won't be until 2028.

As reports, not everyone in the US will get to see it in full. Central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and parts of Australia will have a good view of the event. Alaska, Hawaii and northwest Canada will see the whole thing as well, but more eastern parts of North and Central America will have a shorter show. For example in US Mountain time (MST), the eclipse will begin at 4:48 AM, but as the full eclipse winds down, the moon will already be dipping below the horizon. For Eastern time (EST) in the US, residents in that region will see the eclipse begin at 6:48 AM and the moon will dip out of view shortly thereafter.

In other moon news, there's a supermoon tonight. The full moon will be the closest it gets to Earth in its orbit making it appear a little bit bigger and a little bit brighter than a typical full moon. Though you probably won't notice the difference with your bare eyes, you should still check it out. The sky is beautiful and looking up is a great way to start 2018.

Source: Engadget.

First supermoon of 2018 arrives New Year's Day

Supermoons appear bigger and brighter than normal and the first one of 2018 arrives on New Year’s Day.

And, this one is nicknamed the “wolf moon.”

The supermoon is a nickname of its own, referring to a full moon that appears larger and more luminous because of its increased proximity to the Earth. The wolf moon refers to the first full moon of the new year, which so happens to fall on New Year’s Day this time around, according to NASA.

The second of a “supermoon trilogy” that began with a supermoon at the beginning of December, the New Year’s supermoon should look about 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual, the space agency reports. The final installment of the supermoon series will kick off on Jan. 31, which will be “extra special,” NASA says.

That’s because the Jan. 31 supermoon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse, which will give the moon a reddish glow because of the sunlight reflected by the atmosphere. Another nickname will come into play here, as totally eclipsed moons are sometimes called “blood moons.”

But that’s not the only label of Jan. 31’s moon — that full moon also happens to be the second full moon of the month, an event that is often referred to as a “blue moon.” This means the 31st’s supermoon will be a “super blue blood” moon, according to NASA.

It may seem like the Jan. 31 moon is the lunar spectacle to keep your eyes on, but don’t forget about the one on New Year’s Day — it could be a great way to commemorate the start of 2018.

“The supermoons are a great opportunity for people to start looking at the Moon, not just that once but every chance they have!” said Noah Petro, a research scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, according to the space agency.

Source: The Daily Courier.

Ockhi cyclone inches closer to Kerala: Death toll rises to 4

Following heavy rains and intense winds as many as four people have been killed in Kerala.

Heavy rains lash Kerala.

The unprecedented rain and cyclone has pushed the southern part of Kerala into disarray as at least four people have lost their lives in three different incidents. Late night the slight depression over Sri Lanka gained strength making favourable conditions for a cyclone.

By early morning on Thursday weather departments officially declared the depression as Ockhi cyclone were moving towards the north-western parts of south India. The cyclone however is expected to gain strength by Friday.

Southern tip of Tamil Nadu especially Kanyakumari district suffered severe damage in the morning. Trees were uprooted and normal life was affected. Intense rain was accompanied by strong winds making things difficult for the local governing body.

By 10 am, Ockhi made its presence felt in Kerala coast as well. Classes were suspended in schools and colleges by 12 noon following the district collector's order.

By the time trees and hoardings fell on the road causing traffic block and damage to vehicle in many places

Rail and road traffic was affected in southern Kerala. Several trains passing through Kanyakumari and Nagercoil regions were cancelled and several others were delayed.


Around 50 small and medium fishing boats that left from various parts of state capital are yet to return, raising concerns among the fishermen community. These boats usually return within 20 hours and they are incapable of stocking much food and water.

The initial round of search mission were coordinated by Coast Guard and Marine enforcement departments. However they had to return without much luck. Later in the evening, district administration sought support from the Navy.

Navy has deployed 4 boats and 2 aircrafts which will take over the search operations in the sea. Rough sea and high rising waves along with the rain will be a hurdle for the search operations said Marine enforcement SP.

However, there are also reports that some fishermen have landed at Tamil Nadu coast and returning to the state by road.

Source: India Today.