Sun SDO closeup

Sun Sports A Big Black Spot, Leaky Hole

A very distinguished sunspot blackens the sun today. It’s more than twice the size of Earth and plainly visible to the naked eye as a small, dark dot through a safe solar filter such as a #14 welder’s glass. The spot is the “leader” in a small group of sunspots called Region 2529. Sunspots are…
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Use this map to help you track comet 252P/LINEAR through June. The position is shown for 5 a.m. local Daylight Saving Time with the comet's position marked every 3 days. Stars are labeled with their Greek letters and numbers and plotted to magnitude +7.5. Saturn and Mars' positions are for early April.  All the Greek lettered stars are bright enough to see with the naked eye. Created with Chris Marriott's SkyMap

No Foolin’, We Might Get Aurora Tonight / Comet 252P Still Bright

I’d love to write about a big aurora coming April Fools night just to kid around. Unfortunately, I can’t do that because there really is a chance for northern lights tonight. A recent coronal hole opened up and allowed a stream of particles loose in Earth’s direction that’s expected to impact tonight. Space weather experts…
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Aurora Nov8_2015 AFEA

More Aurora? Enough Already!

I’ve been tempted to blog about the northern lights the past two nights. This morning I caved. The past two nights we’ve had weak displays here in Duluth, Minn. Too little to move the needle mostly because they’ve been low and faint. But I find that the more northern lights I see, the more I…
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Aurora May3_4 2014FEA

Stormy Auroras May Open November

Welcome to the “dark month”. Severed from Daylight Saving Time, the sun sets for many of us before 5 o’clock today. Back to driving home from work in a tunnel of night. On the up side, night begins so early, it’s easy for anyone to step out and enjoy the stars without having to stay up…
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Pink pillars of aurora light up the Big Dipper last night (Oct. 13). Watch for more to come this week. Credit: Bob King

Northern Lights May Show Three Nights In A Row

Seems every night I go out this month there’s some aurora smoldering away in the northern sky. Now, NOAA space weather forecasters are predicting G1 or minor storms tonight through Friday night from early evening till around midnight for the U.S. and Canada. Nothing big, but the aurora’s can’t-pin-me-down nature can sometimes mean bigger storms than expected or nothing…
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