How To Watch February 26th’s ‘Ring Of Fire’ Eclipse

If you’re wondering where the moon’s disappeared to, it’s in the wings waiting to eclipse the sun. On Sunday, the new moon will pass centrally in front of the sun, eclipsing it for skywatchers living along a narrow path that slices across southern Chile, Argentina, the South Atlantic and southeastern Africa. Watch the eclipse starting at…
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Alien Solar System Amazes With Seven Earth-Sized Planets

It took decades to find the first Earth-sized planet. Now, astronomers have found seven of them in one fell swoop! They orbit the cool (literally cool) red dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1, 40 light years away in the constellation Aquarius. Using ground and space telescopes, the planets were all detected as they passed in front of their parent star, causing its…
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Solar Hole Could Kick Up Auroras Tonight

The aurora’s been practically out of sight the past couple months unless you live in central Canada and points north. For U.S. observers, only a couple of weak displays — usually a mustache of pale green light just above the northern horizon — have been sighted. The scene might get livelier soon with a minor…
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Ride The Roller Coaster To Solar Minimum

Most of us live on a 24-hour cycle beginning with waking up, going about our jobs or other activities and then sleeping before waking up again. We call it the circadian rhythm from the Latin circa dia or “about a day.” The sun has a rhythm too, called the 11-year solar cycle. During that time, we…
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Below Zero And Closest To The Sun — How So?

Wednesday morning, the people in my town will wake up to strong winds and 4 below zero (–20°C). Funny that that very day the Earth will be closest to the sun for 2017. Do you think we’ll feel any warmer? Absolutely not. The momentary proximity occurs at 8:17 a.m. Central time, when the distance from…
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