A Mighty Solar Wind May Kindle Auroras Next 3 Nights

This week has real aurora potential. Tonight through Wednesday night, the NOAA space weather forecast calls for minor to moderate geomagnetic storms during overnight hours. Sometimes solar storms called flares are responsible for aurora; they blast bits and pieces of the sun (electrons and protons) toward Earth at extremely high speed. During the biggest solar flare…
Read More

Trump’s NASA Budget: What It Cuts, What It Keeps

When it comes to space exploration, the White House budget ax does not bite as deeply as it might for other programs. The Trump administration requested $19.1 billion for NASA, a 0.8% decrease — about $200 million — from 2017. NASA’s cuts may look rosy at first glance, but that doesn’t mean a few key…
Read More

How Moon Colonists Might Survive The Frigid Lunar Night

Man, it can get cold on the moon. With virtually no air to speak of and a night that lasts just shy of two weeks, the surface temperature drops to around 275° below zero (–170° C). Dry ice or frozen carbon dioxide is toasty in comparison with a temperature of just –109° F (–78.5° C). Picture…
Read More

Take A Wonderful Flight Over Mars / 41P Comet Update

An imaginary flight above the real Mars. Click here for the full-screen option – highly recommended! I started my day in orbit around Mars and can’t wait for you to join me. Just click the button and your journey to the Red Planet begins with a close approach to its largest moon, Phobos. The video, titled…
Read More

Robin Song, Slanted Earth, Must Be Spring

I really, truly heard my first robin today, the first day of spring. The lilting, see-saw song made me stop in my tracks; I just listened, soaking in the melody of the new season. Spring began overcast and early at 5:28 a.m. (CDT) in my neighborhood but has since turned sunny and surprisingly warm. I fear…
Read More