Auroras Expected Sat. Night / AZ Fireball Update

Get ready for stormy weather. Zillions of sub-microscopic electrons and protons from a solar coronal hole are expected to impact Earth’s magnetic domain beginning sometime tomorrow afternoon. Space weather forecasters are calling for moderate storm conditions through about 10 p.m. (CDT) Saturday evening followed by a return to minor storm from 10 till 1 a.m. Based…
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Massive Fireball Over Arizona

A monster fireball brighter than the full moon not only lit up central Arizona’s skies early this morning but exploded with such force, it shook the ground! Amateur astronomer Chris Schur reported that the meteor glowed at around magnitude -16, more than twice as bright as the full moon. Searing the sky high over the canyons and deserts…
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Turn Right At The ‘W’ And Head Straight For Summer

You’ll often hear that the constellation Cassiopeia the queen is shaped like the letter “W.” And while this is true, in the interest of full disclosure, it’s only really a W from late spring to mid-summer. I noticed this two nights ago when I was studying the northern horizon for the aurora. From my latitude…
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Take A Trip Down The Strip — Best Closeups Of Pluto Yet

A new, detailed mosaic slice of Pluto, which I’ve chopped into seven pieces, each representing a sample of a different terrain, was released by NASA on May 27. It includes all of the highest-resolution images taken by NASA’s New Horizons probe as it flew past Pluto on July 14 last year. It extends across the hemisphere that faced the…
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Juno Falls Into Jupiter’s Embrace

Call it a gravitational trifecta. Since its launch in August 2011, three forces have tugged at NASA’s Juno spacecraft — the sun, Earth and Jupiter — as it speeds half a billion miles across the solar system to the largest planet, Jupiter. Sometimes Earth was the gravitational master as in October 2013, when the probe flew by our…
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