Aurora Update And Mars Visits The Seven Sisters

Sometimes things don’t work out. Like many of you I stayed up late hoping to see the northern lights but no dice. The anticipated storm never did arrive. Yet the act of getting out and looking out is never wasted. I caught a brilliant pass of the space station and tracked three other satellites during…
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Aurora Update And Viewing Tips For Sat. March 23

(UPDATE  11:20 p.m. CDT March 23: Frustratingly quiet out there though I did get to hear my first saw-whet owl. Updated forecast still calls for a minor storm now through 1 a.m. but also adds from 4-7 a.m. tomorrow morning. Still mostly clear in Duluth, Minn. but no aurora visible.) The forecast still looks good for…
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G2 Aurora Storm Forecast For March 23 / Space Station Back At Dusk

Spring brings new vigor to the night sky scene. And the day sky too! After being spotless for weeks, two sunspot groups have popped into view. The larger of the two, named active region 2736, produced a flare early on March 20 that propelled a burst of solar plasma (electrons and protons) toward the Earth.…
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Get Ready For The Spring Equinox Supermoon Mash-Up

Spring feels good. I like the sound of it. I wrung as much cold-night observing, shoveling and cross-country skiing out of winter as I could. There were days I thought my hands would never warm up. So now I’m ready for a change, and you probably are too. Good thing spring’s on the horizon. That’s…
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Did A Collision Just Turn Asteroid Gault Into A Comet?

In late October 2018, a faint asteroid named 6478 Gault suddenly brightened. Two weeks later a most curious thing happened — it grew a tail!  Photos revealed a needle-thin, dust tail that extended for 248,500 miles (400,000 kilometers) — more than the distance between the Earth and the moon. Since its discovery in 1988 Gault…
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