This artist's rendering shows NASA's Juno spacecraft making one of its close passes over Jupiter. Unlike other long-distance space probes, which use the decay of plutonium to produce heat and electricity far from the sun, Juno's equipped with three solar array wings that will both stabilize the craft and provide power.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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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Spectacular Mother’s Day Aurora!

I was about to go to bed last night (May 7) when I made the fateful decision to crack the door for a last look at the sky. A single arc of aurora lit up the northern sky. Instead of hugging the pillow, I gathered camera and tripod and made a short drive to a…
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May Begins With A Baby Blue Aurora

I wanted to tweet out the news of northern lights but had no service last night. So sorry! I only hope you were out looking all the same. I watched from the countryside, where I could already see a pale green arc appeared low in the northern sky during twilight. It soon intensified, added another arc…
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Get Re-acquainted With The Night

Clouds, commitments and a bad cold have kept the stars and I apart for weeks.  Last night’s clear sky finally brought us back together. I can be a miner when it comes to the night, drilling for nebulae, galaxies and comets with my telescope for hours, extracting one glittering gem after another. Other times, I prefer to tilt my…
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Heads-up For Aurora Tonight April 29-30

When it gets dark tonight, keep watch on the northern sky. There’s a chance for a minor G1 auroral storm. You might see anything from a quiet arc to active rayed arcs in the lower half of the northern sky beginning at nightfall and continuing into the early morning hours. Since the aurora is generally…
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