Credit: Bob King

Why Isn’t The Earliest Sunset On The Shortest Day?

The dark days are upon us. Welcome to the earliest sunsets of the year this week and early next. Counter to intuition, the sun sets earliest before the winter solstice, not on it. Shouldn’t the sun set earliest and rise latest on the shortest day of the year? Well no, and it’s because our clocks keep steady, uniform time…
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Credit: Max Planck Institute

Kepler Star Is The Most Spherical Object Ever Seen In Nature

Anyone who’s ever tried to make a perfect snowball has some inkling how difficult it is to create a sphere. Even nature has a hard time of it. But a star discovered by NASA’s Kepler Mission, dubbed Kepler 11145123, comes pretty darn close. Rounder than the sun, the Earth, the moon and all the rest,…
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Credit: NASA

Hole In Sun’s Corona Could Spark Auroras

The sun’s atmosphere is like Swiss cheese at times. It develops these big holes that while not visible with regular filters on amateur telescopes stand out boldly in ultraviolet light. NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory keeps a constant watch on the sun in many wavelengths or colors of light, where the holes stand out like giant…
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Credit: NASA

Don’t Forget To Vote, Er, I Mean Look For Aurora

It’s just so cool how many ways you can spark an aurora. Flares, coronal mass ejections and coronal holes are the most common, but sometimes fiery filaments of flaming hydrogen gas just pick up and go. That’s what happened on the early morning of November 5. A tens of thousands of miles long snake of…
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Copyright D. Necchi (www.davnec.eu)

Sinister Images Of Awe And Terror

Some photos inspire both awe and terror. The two emotions ride back to back when it comes to our experience of nature. For your Halloween pleasure, I wanted to share these several images, one of an aurora over Iceland, and the other a fleeting eclipse of the “black moon” across the face of the sun and…
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