Jupiter Joins The Zodiacal Light Before Dawn

To calm my mind on Election Day morning, I took off before dawn for Lake Superior. Just a quick hop to a beach 10 minutes from home. There along the silent shore stood a slanted feather of comet dust dotted by the bright planet Jupiter. Winds were light, so Jupiter left a gleam line on…
Read More

Credit: NASA

Juno Back In Business / Jupiter Meets The Moon At Dawn

After problems with two valves in its propulsion system and an automatic computer reboot that put the probe in “safe mode”, the Juno mission is back on its feet and ready for action. The spacecraft is designed to enter safe mode if its on-board computer senses that conditions are not as expected. That happened back on…
Read More

Mercury Jupiter conj Oct11 wide_FEA

See A Double-Planet Huddle At Dawn

Mercury’s been hanging out at dawn the past couple weeks. But you knew that. You may have even set your alarm for a look at the shy planet. In case you haven’t, Jupiter will sweeten the pot on Tuesday morning (Oct. 11). The biggest planet, which has been hiding in the glare of the sun since September,…
Read More

A colorful aurora photographed in early fall. Credit: Bob King

Two Days Before Fall, The Aurora May Come Knocking

It’s been a while. No northern lights in the neighborhood for a couple weeks at least. That could change tomorrow evening (Sept. 19) when the wind blowing from a solar coronal hole wafts past Earth. If the magnetic direction of that wind points south — just like the south pole of a magnet — it…
Read More

Juno Jupiter Sept 1 Superclose CROP

Jupiter’s Poles And Auroras Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

NASA’s Juno probe just sent back the best and most detailed images ever of Jupiter’s polar regions. I’m sure you’ll agree they’re wonderful eye candy. They were made during the spacecraft’s first flyby of the planet during its long looping orbit. The photos show a chaos of whirling storms and weather activity and a notable…
Read More