Venus Returns At Dawn / Sun Gets Busy

Back so soon? Venus, lately of the evening sky, has returned to view in the morning sky after speeding north of the sun during conjunction on March 25. The transition from morning to evening is swift because the planet is between the Earth and sun and relatively close to us — about 26 million miles.…
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Sun Heats Up / Russian Spaceship To Fall From The Sky Tonight

A recent X2-class flare and the appearance of a large new sunspot group tell us the Sun’s awoken from its slumbers. Last week, hardly a spot pocked the solar disk. We took this (correctly) as a sign of the approaching minimum of the sunspot cycle. But the Sun’s like an old-fashioned general store, where there’s…
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Shhh! Don’t Wake The Sun

Who doesn’t enjoy a nap on a lazy summer afternoon? That’s what the sun’s been up to past few days. Instead of a steady parade of sunspots, it put its pencils away and went to sleep. For a time on July 17 not a singe magnetic blemish marred the entire Earth-facing hemisphere. The last time that…
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Wow, That’s A Lot Of Sunspots! Aurora In The Forecast April 19-20

I can’t recall seeing the sun this peppered with sunspots in a long time. Through the scope this morning I counted nine separate groups. No single spot or group stood out as unusually large, but the combined effect of seeing so many blemishes in one glance made an impression. I encourage you to point your…
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Keep Your Eyes Open For Aurora Tonight Nov. 8-9

There’s been a jump in auroral activity tonight possibly related to recent flares from the large sunspot group numbered 1890. This Jupiter-sized group has erupted with several X-class flares this week. Starting yesterday and continuing for the next few days the region will face Earth; with more M and X-class likely that means continuing chances…
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