Comets: Soft shell, hard core?

Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko poses new riddles: Surface material measurements performed by the Philae landing module indicate that the near surface material might have changed since its formation. Up to now, many researchers had assumed that it has remained in virtually the same state since its formation about 4.5 billion years ago. —> Read More

An exceptional planetary system discovered in Cassiopeia

Astronomers have teased out a secret planetary system hiding in the arms of Cassiopea, just 21 light years away from us. The remarkable system, named HD219134, hosts one outer giant planet and three inner super-Earths, one of which transits in front of the star. The transiting super-Earth has a density similar to the Earth. It is by far the closest transiting planet known today. It provides the ideal candidate for follow-up studies and a deeper understanding of planetary formation, internal composition, and atmospheres. The system is so close that astronomers already dream about taking pictures of the new “Stars.” —> Read More

How To See Friday’s Rare Blue Moon

Skywatchers are in for a rare treat tomorrow in the form of a blue moon.

Of course, a blue moon isn’t actually blue. That’s just the term used to describe the moon when it’s full for the second time in a single calendar month–in this case July.

The month’s first full moon occurred on July 2. Its second occurs officially at 6:43 a.m. EDT tomorrow, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory. If you don’t want to get up early, Slooh Space Camera will live-stream the moon at 8:30 p.m. EDT.

In a typical year, there are 12 full moons–one every 29.5 days or so. But this year there are 13 (including tomorrow’s blue moon).

The last time we saw two full moons in a single month was August 2012. There won’t be another blue moon until January 2018, CNN reported.

Send us your photos of the blue moon by tweeting us at @HuffPostScience or use the hashtag #HPBlueMoon. We’ll be collecting user photos from all over the world and yours just may appear on HuffPost Science!

How did Earth get its moon in the first place? Check out the “Talk Nerdy To Me” episode below to find out.

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