The Zodiacal Light Invites You Out Tonight

Sunrise still comes early but not so early that you can’t find a way to view one of early fall’s most fascinating phenomena, the zodiacal light. It shows up best about a half hour before the start of dawn in the eastern sky. What am I talking about? Comet dust … with a bit of asteroid…
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Double Eclipse Of The Sun / Watch For Aurora Tonight Sept. 14

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) photographed a unique event never viewed from Earth — two eclipses of the sun on the same day! The observatory, which has been observing the sun in both visible and extreme ultraviolet light since 2010, resides in the geosynchronous belt of satellites 22,238 miles high. SDO witnessed the rare double eclipse on September 13…
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Clear Nights, Good Friends And Aurora

I just returned from a really fun weekend hanging out with a bunch of amateur astronomers at the Furtman Farm Star Party in the Town of Scott in northwestern Wisconsin. The annual, small-scale event, hosted by amateur astronomer and computer guru Greg Furtman, is set in a mixed landscape of farms and boreal forest a couple…
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On A Roll! More Aurora Expected Tonight Sept. 12

As forecast, the northern lights returned last night. Instead of the typical arc, they appeared as two smoky “sausages” — one in the northeastern sky and the other in the north — about 20° above the horizon. Over several hours, the sausages pulsed in brightness like a slow-beating heart while gradually lengthening until they met…
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Aurora Alert Tonight Sept. 11

During the early morning hours today, Earth got whacked by high speed solar winds whooshing from another coronal hole in the sun’s magnetic canopy. The result: a powerful G3 geomagnetic storm visible across the upper Midwest, Northern Plains states and Washington State. Because it wasn’t in the forecast and began around 1 a.m. CDT I suspect…
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