‘Jupiter Boost’ May Kick Perseid Meteor Shower Into High Gear This Week

Get ready for what could be the most fantastic meteor display of the year. Every mid-August, Earth barrels through the trail of dusty crumbs left behind by Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. They strike our atmosphere at 67,000 mph (30 km/sec) and vaporize in flashes of light called meteors. Since they appear to radiate from a point in the sky…
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Quiet Aurora And Star-Drenched Nights

Like a pot set to simmer that never boils, the aurora never quite bubbled up into easy viewing last night. It was there alright, so long as you had dark skies and could see down to the northern horizon. I watched it on and off for an hour and a half while hunting globular clusters…
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Aurora Chance Tonight Aug. 7-8 / See It Rain Plasma On The Sun

Just in time before the moon thickens and brightens the sky, there’s a chance for a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm tonight. The last solar blast — a G2 or moderate storm — occurred on August 2-3 and sparked a very attractive display in the lower half of the northern sky seen from the northern U.S. and Canada.…
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‘Challenge’ Photos And A Jupiter-Moon Conjunction

Did you have any luck with last night’s challenge of finding the crescent moon and all five bright planets? I decided to take the challenge too. There were a few surprises. First, the both the thin lunar crescent and Venus were higher and easier to see than I expected. And once the sky darkened a…
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Sun Zaps Potentially Bright Comet

What might have turned into a bright comet in the evening sky instead crashed into the sun. Before it passed, the comet shone at around magnitude -0.5 —  brighter than Vega or Arcturus. Astronomers identified the spectacular, one-time visitor as a piece of a long-ago, much larger comet that also passed very near the sun and…
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