Mars, Neptune Embrace On New Year’s Eve / Aurora With Your Bubbly?

Mars won’t have to look hard to find a dance partner for the New Year’s Eve ball. It can only be Neptune. Beautiful, unavoidable Neptune. The Red Planet sashays up to the Blue Planet on Saturday evening Dec. 31, and you can see the sparkling couple using a pair of 50mm (or larger) binoculars or a…
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Aurora — The Big Picture From 518 Miles Up

What an amazing image! Those cresting wave forms? That’s the aurora seen from 518 miles up by the Suomi-NPP satellite. An intense display lit up the sky across northern Canada on Dec. 22 just hours after the winter solstice, when a mass of energetic particles from the sun smashed into Earth’s magnetic field and funneled down to…
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Hole In Sun’s Corona Could Spark Auroras

The sun’s atmosphere is like Swiss cheese at times. It develops these big holes that while not visible with regular filters on amateur telescopes stand out boldly in ultraviolet light. NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory keeps a constant watch on the sun in many wavelengths or colors of light, where the holes stand out like giant…
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Don’t Forget To Vote, Er, I Mean Look For Aurora

It’s just so cool how many ways you can spark an aurora. Flares, coronal mass ejections and coronal holes are the most common, but sometimes fiery filaments of flaming hydrogen gas just pick up and go. That’s what happened on the early morning of November 5. A tens of thousands of miles long snake of…
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Sinister Images Of Awe And Terror

Some photos inspire both awe and terror. The two emotions ride back to back when it comes to our experience of nature. For your Halloween pleasure, I wanted to share these several images, one of an aurora over Iceland, and the other a fleeting eclipse of the “black moon” across the face of the sun and…
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