Nature Cooks Up A Fine Aurora Tonight – Don’t Miss It

I can’t believe it. The northern lights are back … again! Sure, they were in the forecast, but that doesn’t always mean they’ll show up. It’s been quite a wonderful pageant tonight. Lots of rayed arcs with occasional Star Wars “lightsaber” beams. The delicate pink coloration in the ray pictured above was one of the most beautiful I’ve…
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Aurora Alert Tonight April 15-16

Good news on the northern lights front. Earth’s expected to get a bath from subatomic particles streaming from the Sun’s southern hemisphere tonight. They originate from a gap in its magnetic canopy called a coronal hole. Not a big storm. The space weather office at NOAA is calling for a G1 or minor geomagnetic storm, the type…
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Dwarf Planet Ceres – A More Colorful View

A new color map of Ceres based on photos taken by the Dawn spacecraft suggest a little planet that continues to evolve. “This dwarf planet was not just an inert rock throughout its history. It was active, with processes that resulted in different materials in different regions. We are beginning to capture that diversity in…
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Fast-spinning Asteroid Tears Itself To Pieces

A team of astronomers led by team led by Michal Drahus of the Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland) used one of the twin 10-meter (394-inch) telescopes of the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii to study the strange behavior of four comet-like asteroids. Most of the hundreds of thousands of known asteroids are made of rock and don’t…
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A Moon Rock Lands In Duluth

A priceless moon rock lies locked in a glowing pyramid of lucite a few blocks from Lake Superior in Duluth today. NASA’s “Journey to Tomorrow” traveling exhibit pulled into town a few days ago, and among the displays is a palm-sized lunar rock collected by Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan sometime on December 13,1972. The 152 gram (1/3 lb.) concrete-gray…
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