What did National Geographic Twitter followers retweet most in 2012? Intriguing transmissions on strange emissions—from the sun as well as wombats—subatomic science, and stargazing. Lots of stargazing.
10. Sun vs. Earth?
Biggest solar storm in 8 years is now pummeling Earth: on.natgeo.com/zxVlTH
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) January 25, 2012
With rumors of apocalyptic Maya predictions and other doomsday scenarios in the atmosphere this year, some followers speculated about how January’s major solar storm might affect Earth. Would there be power outages, as in 1989—or worse?
9. Mystery of the White Whale
White killer whale spotted. Is it the only one in the world? on.natgeo.com/ITMuE2
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) April 26, 2012
Iceberg the orca captivated @NatGeo followers, but unanswered questions—is he a true albino? had he been photographed before?—left fans eager for answers.
8. Alien Deep
Friday Fact: More people have traveled to the moon than to the deepest part of the ocean.
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) August 31, 2012
Whenever we mention moon travel, the resulting exchanges are surprisingly passionate, with fans weighing in on everything from whether we should return to the lunar surface to whether any humans ever truly went there in the first place.
7. Little Black Spot on the Sun
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) June 4, 2012
It may have looked “like a pea in front of a watermelon,” but relatively tiny Venus’s transit of the sun—visible via a live feed from an observatory—was big news.
6. Wombat Weirdness
Friday Fact: Wombat waste is cube-shaped.
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) June 8, 2012
Every Friday we share a little-known, often hard-to-believe, fact. In turn, readers often share their own related insights, images, and links—another reason we love our followers. They’re anything but square.
5. Naked-Eye Sky Show
First time in 8 years: Night sky packed with 5 planets, superbright stars. No binoculars needed: on.natgeo.com/ztmrwr
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) February 29, 2012
Astronomy made easy: We tipped off our Twitter friends to a stargazing rarity that required nothing more than looking up, and they told their friends, and so on, and so on, and so on …
4. Burning Ring of Fire
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) May 18, 2012
Another no-telescope-needed sky show spurred @NatGeo fans to retweet our stargazing tip for May’s “time traveling” solar eclipse.
3. The Internets Higgsplode
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) July 4, 2012
The Fourth of July “God particle” announcement ignited scientific fireworks the world over—and sparked discussion among @NatGeo followers. Without the Higgs, the theory goes, there’d be no life and no galaxies.
2. Breaking Down the Blue Moon
“Blue moon” Friday-last one until 2015: on.natgeo.com/OCNqlH
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) August 30, 2012
Is a blue moon actually blue? From Brazil, to Singapore, to London, fans turned to the night sky—and National Geographic News’s explainer—to find out.
1. Able to Leap Other Tweets in a Single Bound
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) May 5, 2012
If there’s anything this list makes clear, it’s that our tweeps love easy-to-see space shows. So maybe it’s no surprise that May’s “supermoon”—30 percent brighter and 16 percent bigger than a typical full moon—outshone all other @NatGeo tweets in 2012.
What’ll be tops in 2013? Find out with us—follow @NatGeo on Twitter >>