View to the east showing lots of active rays or pillars. My wide-angle lens was only wide enough to cover 1/3 of the display at a time. Credit: Bob King

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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A poster of artistic interpretations of about 500 of the 1,978 known exoplanets or planets that orbit stars other than our sun. Credit: Martin Vargic

1,284 New Planets To Ponder / Moon Meets Jupiter

One planet can be enough. Make that two. One planet to stand on and one to look at. You might find yourself looking at Jupiter tomorrow night (May 14) when the waxing half moon stops by for a visit. The conjunction of these two bright sky objects in Leo will be the night’s naked eye…
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ALMA’s best image of a protoplanetary disc to date. This picture of the nearby young star TW Hydrae reveals the classic rings and gaps that signify planets are in formation in this system. Credit: S. Andrews (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA); B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

ALMA Reveals Planets Forming Right Before Our Eyes

TW Hydrae is a special star. Located 175 light years from Earth in the constellation Hydra the Water Snake, it sits at the center of a dense disk of gas and dust that astronomers think resembles our solar system when it was just 10 million years old. The disk is incredibly clear in images made using the Atacama…
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View facing south tomorrow Saturday morning Jan. 23 as seen from Minneapolis, Minn. and other locations in the northern half of the U.S. All the planets lie along the ecliptic, the plane of Earth's orbit. Stellarium

See All Five Planets Line Up At Dawn!

To listen to the TV news you’d think the well-publicized planetary lineup is pretty much over. The good news is that this visual treat has just begun. Jupiter, Venus and Mars have been trolling the morning sky for months. A few weeks ago, they were joined by Saturn, emerging low in the southeastern sky at…
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With this pane of 16 Forever stamps, the Postal Service showcases some of the more visually compelling historic, full-disk images of the planets obtained during the last half-century of space exploration. Eight new colorful Forever stamps, each shown twice, feature Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Some show the planets’ “true color” — what one might see if traveling through space. Others use colors to represent and visualize certain features of a planet based in imaging data. Still others use the near-infrared spectrum to show things that cannot be seen by the human eye.
Credits: USPS/Antonio Alcalá © 2016 USPS

Your Favorite Planet May Soon Turn Up In The Mail

The U.S. Postal Service recently sneak-previewed a new series of stamps this year highlighting NASA’s Planetary Science program, including a do-over of a famous Pluto stamp commemorating the New Horizons’ historic 2015 flyby and more. Watch for eight new colorful Forever stamps of NASA images of solar system planets, a Global Forever stamp dedicated to Earth’s…
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