Auroras have put in regular appearances this spring and may again starting late tonight. This photo was taken during a recent display on April 10 from Fairbanks, AK. Credit: Kyle McMillan

Aurora Alert / See May’s Finest Globular Clusters

After a quiet spell, northern lights are back in the forecast for late tonight through tomorrow night. A minor G1 geomagnetic storm may fire up around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning (CDT) and continue till dawn. Tomorrow night, there’s an even better chance with auroras possible beginning at nightfall and lasting until dawn Wednesday. The moon will be a…
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Comet 67P photographed by Rosetta on April 28 from a distance of 94 miles (151 km). Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam

Rosetta Listens For Philae’s Heartbeat As Sunnier Days Return

On Friday, the Rosetta spacecraft was all ears for signs that Philae, the lander dispatched to the comet last November, might be still be ticking. You’ll recall that the probe finally touched down at a cockeyed angle in a dimly lit canyon. Without enough sunlight to re-charge its batteries, Philae soon ran out of power and went…
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Enceladus curtain jets

Phantom Jets At Enceladus May Be An Optical Illusion

Jets or curtains? That depends on your point of view. New research on the geyser-like eruptions from Saturn’s moon Enceladus reveal that they may be aurora-like curtains erupting from long sinuous cracks instead of distinct, individual jets. Every second, the 313-mile-diameter moon spews 440 pounds (200 kg) of water vapor, salt crystals and ice particles.…
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Region 2339 cut loose a powerful X-2 class solar flare just as it was coming around the eastern edge of the Sun on May 5. Credit: NASA/SDO

Sun Heats Up / Russian Spaceship To Fall From The Sky Tonight

A recent X2-class flare and the appearance of a large new sunspot group tell us the Sun’s awoken from its slumbers. Last week, hardly a spot pocked the solar disk. We took this (correctly) as a sign of the approaching minimum of the sunspot cycle. But the Sun’s like an old-fashioned general store, where there’s…
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Ursa Major Makes A Daytime Appearance In Duluth

Mid-bite in my mini-wheats this morning I get a phone call about a bear stuck in a tree in front of City Hall. Since I work as a photographer at the Duluth News Tribune and the bear incident was unfolding on my shift, I quickly finished up, brushed my teeth and hurried out of the…
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