Asteroid 2014 RC Makes Astronomers’ Heads Spin / Crater Appears In Nicaragua

Not only did it make a very close approach to Earth yesterday, but astronomers got a better handle on 2014 RC’s size and how fast it spins during the flyby. The space rock was originally thought to be 60-feet (20-m) across but we now know it’s closer to 40-feet (12-m) or about the size of…
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What Makes The Harvest Moon Special

Today, September 8, the Harvest Moon will rise the color of a fall leaf and spill its light across deserts, forest, oceans and cities. The next night it rises only a half hour later. And the next, too. The short gap of time between successive moonrises gave farmers in the days before electricity extra light…
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Glows Before Dawn / Tomorrow’s Close Shave With Asteroid 2014 RC

The moon’s bright and near full, but if you wait until after it sets, there’s still a sliver of dark sky before dawn. This morning a quiet arc of aurora glowed in the north while I did some comet hunting after moonset. Auroral activity has kicked up of late from the combined effects of solar…
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This Video’s Got It All – Sprites, Gravity Waves And Airglow!

Randy Halverson captured rare night lights in this timelapse made on August 20, 2014 On August 20 a thunderstorm rumbled over central South Dakota and Randy Halverson was ready. He set up cameras to capture sprites, bizarre pink electrical discharges that race upward from storm clouds, and picturesque gravity waves. Sprites last only milliseconds. You’ll appreciate their…
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Milky Way Settles Into Its New Home, The Laniakea Supercluster

The name fits so well – Laniakea. It means ‘immense heaven’ in Hawaiian, and now it’s home. In the biggest sense of ‘big picture’ you can imagine. Astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT), among other telescopes, have determined that our own Milky Way galaxy is part of a newly identified titanic supercluster…
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