World News


Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower 2019

The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower takes place this weekend, and will reach its peak on the night of Saturday, May 4, into the early morning hours of Sunday, May 5, but the number of meteors visible to stargazers largely depends on their location around the globe. “This shower happens to be one of, if not the best, showers in the Southern Hemisphere and is a moderate shower for the Northern Hemisphere. From the equator northward, they usually only produce medium rates of 10-30 per hour just before dawn. The meteors are most abundant in the hours leading up to dawn,” said AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel. Read more for another video and additional information on how to watch this weekend.

Teen Apple Facial Recognition System Lawsuit

Ousmane Bah, an 18-year-old college student from New York, is suing Apple for $1 billion, claiming that the company used facial recognition in its stores in a way that led to his wrongful arrest. He was accused of stealing from multiple Apple Stores and was arrested at his home in November. It all began when Bah was still a high-school student and received a summons from a court accusing him of stealing $1,200 worth of items (Apple Pencils) from an Apple Store in Boston. According to the suit, the teen had never been to Boston and was attending his senior prom in Manhattan on the day authorities said the theft took place. He was then later accused of additional thefts from Apple Stores in New Jersey, Delaware, and New York City. Read more for another video and additional information.

Park Ranger Gorilla Selfie
Photo credit: Virunga National Park
Two gorillas in Congo were ready to strike a pose for a selfie with a ranger from The Elite AntiPoaching Units and Combat Trackers at Virunga National Park. The female gorillas, named Ndakazi and Ndeze, have resided at an enclosed sanctuary for orphans since they were infants. “Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities!” said the park. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Meteoroid Sky Maryland East Coast

The American Meteor Society (AMS) announced that 360 reports from some 12 states detailing alleged meteor activity was received Wednesday, with the majority of them coming from Virginia; Washington, DC; and Marylanda at around 11 p.m. The exploding meteoroid was so bright that it triggered the lightning detector on NASA / NOAA’s GOES-16 weather satellite. According to the AMS preliminary 3D trajectory, the fireball ended its journey in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Bethany Beach in Delaware. Read more for two additional videos.

Meteoroid Florida Sky
A stunning blue-green fireball lit up the skies over Northern Florida on Saturday night, and the meteoroid was reported around 11:52 p.m. over Taylor County, according to the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee office. The flash was so bright that it was picked up on weather satellites typically used to track thunderstorms and lightning, with the NWS posting a photo where the fireball was picked up by the GOES Lightning Mapper. “It basically has a global lightning mapper and picks out bright cloud flashes from lightning when we have thunderstorms,” said Kelly Godsey, a NWS meteorologist. Read more for two videos and additional information.

Meteor Los Angeles

Did you see a meteor streaking across the Los Angeles sky a few nights back during the supermoon? Well, it’s not quite what you think, but rather just a clever stunt by Red Bull. Simply put, what you saw were skydivers in wingsuits equipped with LED lights and “Sparking Pyrotechnic”. These daredevils jumped from a helicopter hovering 4000-feet above the Los Angeles skyline and zipped through the sky at nearly 120 miles per hour. Read more to see the video from the wingsuit’s perspective.

Geomagnetic Storm Aurora Earth

A geomagnetic storm occurred on Wednesday when a new sunspot blasted a small solar flare that lasted for just over an hour, causing disruptions for some radio operators in Europe and Africa. There was a CME, or a slower-moving, massive cloud of charged particles, that has pushed the Aurora Borealis south. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) predicts that the Northern Lights could be visible as far south as New York and Chicago on Saturday in the early morning hours. Read more for another video explaining the difference between CMEs and solar flares, along with additional information.

The Flat Earth Society Antarctica

An Antarctic expedition organized by the Flat Earth International Conference (FEIC) aims to find the frozen barrier they believe marks the edge of our world, which is allegedly thousands of feet thick, stands 164-feet high and surrounds the entire planet. This trip has intrigued many, including YouTube star Logan Paul, who just may join in on the fun. “If you take a globe and you squish it down, the Antarctic would go all the way around the Earth. It’s kind of like an ice shore and it’s very, very large. It’s not like you just go there and you can just peek over it. We don’t believe anything can fall off the edge, because a big portion of the flat earth community believes that we’re in a dome, like a snow globe. So the sun, moon and stars are all inside. It’s very high but all contained inside. So there’s no way to actually fall off of the earth,” said FEIC founder Robbie Davidson to Forbes. Read more to watch Logan Paul’s flat Earth documentary.

Vessel Hudson Yards

No, this isn’t an alien structure that landed in NYC, just “The Vessel,” a public landmark that was built as part of the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project in Manhattan. Featuring a stunning honeycomb-like structure, it rises 16 stories and consists of 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings. It was designed by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, and is the main feature of the 5-acre Hudson Yards Public Square. Read more for a complete walkthrough of the structure, additional pictures and information.

Supermoon Wednesday Spring Equinox

Photo credit: Joe Matus / NASA/MSFC
The final supermoon of 2019 will appear in the night sky on Wednesday, March 20th, coinciding with the spring equinox, and officially called the “super worm equinox moon”. Supermoons occurs when a full moon has reached the closest point to Earth in its monthly elliptical orbit around the planet, thus appearing larger and brighter in the night sky. Read more for another video about this special supermoon and how to watch.