Auroras Expected Sunday Night — Monday Morning Oct. 7-8

A giant north-south gash in the sun’s corona is bleeding high-speed solar particles Earth’s way. They’re expected to arrive beginning tomorrow afternoon (Central time) and produce a moderate G2 geomagnetic storm, ie. a good northern lights display. According to the latest space weather forecast observers in the northern half of the U.S. and Canada might…
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“Ring Rain” Pelted Cassini Spacecraft During Its Final Orbits

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft flamed out in Saturn’s atmosphere a year ago, but the data it collected during its final orbits led to an amazing discovery — ring rain! As the probe dove between the rings and upper atmosphere, it was bathed in a downpour of dust. Hsiang-Wen Hsu (Colorado University-Boulder) and colleagues report that they…
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“The Goblin” May Point To Super-Earth Haunting The Fringes Of The Solar System

Just in time for Halloween and in fact named in the spirit of the celebration, American astronomer Scott Sheppard and colleagues have discovered a new, extremely distant object well beyond Pluto they nicknamed “the Goblin.” More formally known as 2015 TG387, the distant asteroid was discovered about 7.5 billion miles from the sun or 2.5…
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Ancient Suns Set The Night Sky Aglow

Nearly the entire night sky glows a midnight blue from vast clouds of hydrogen gas. New observations made with the MUSE (Multi Instrument Spectroscopic Explorer) instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope have uncovered enormous cosmic reservoirs of atomic hydrogen surrounding distant galaxies. The team of astronomers discovered that the light — called Lyman-alpha…
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Mars Opportunity Rover Stubbornly Silent / Hyades Frames Waning Moon

The skies are clearing over NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover but we’ve still not heard from the robotic explorer since June 10. That’s when a planet-encircling dust storm kicked into gear, saturating the thin Martian air with fine dust and choking off the sunlight the rover needed to power its solar arrays and recharge its batteries. The…
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