Sunspots To The Rescue / Watch The Eclipse Live Online

Lots of amateur astronomers were hoping the sun wouldn’t be blank during the eclipse. We got our wish. Earlier this week, a lively sunspot group appeared around the eastern limb of the sun. It’s now peppered with about 25 spots and should be near the center of the solar disk on eclipse day. It’s fun…
Read More

Try Out Your Eclipse Glasses On This Big Sunspot

A rapidly growing sunspot that rotated around the Sun’s limb several days ago has now expanded to about 78,000 miles (125,000 km) across, only 10,000 miles shy of Jupiter’s girth. It was easy to see with the naked eye as a small, dark imperfection on the sun’s otherwise spotless face through my #14 welder’s glass…
Read More

Full Thunder Moon And A Spotted Sun

Full moon tonight! The July moon had a couple traditional names: Full Buck Moon, after buck deers’ antlers that are now nearly fully grown, and the Thunder Moon, for the thunderstorms common in the summer months. Both have been regular sights and sounds in northern Minnesota this year. I’m looking forward to tonight’s moonrise, hoping to catch…
Read More

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…
Read More

Big Sunspot Group Heats Up

(Update: The aurora’s active tonight. Not a big storm, but if you live in the northern U.S. and the sky’s clear, head out for a look. A G1 storm (Kp=5) is underway with arcs and faint rays low in the northern sky. The activity, spawned by a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun earlier…
Read More