Aurora Alert Late Tonight / Venus Gets A Smile

A small hole in the sun’s magnetic overcoat called a coronal hole is blowing solar particles our way that could spark an aurora tonight. That’s according to the latest space weather forecast out of Boulder.  You may have to stay up late for this one. The minor geomagnetic storm is expected to hit around 1…
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Fun With Contrails … And Auroras

Contrails, those streaks of condensed moisture that form in the wake of high-flying aircraft, can be annoying if you’re a photographer. They mark up an otherwise blue sky and can add an unwanted man-made element to pristine landscape photos. But sometimes contrails can become a subject of their own, where they add an geometric or…
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InSight Mission Blasts Off To Mars / Chance For Weekend Auroras

We’re headed back to Mars! NASA’s Mars InSight mission lifted off at 6:05 a.m. (Central Time) this morning from the West Coast en route to the Red Planet. After a 6½ month journey, it will arrive and set up camp on Nov. 26. The landing site is Elysium Planitia, a broad, smooth plain just north…
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Aurora Kicks Into Gear Overnight — More Possible Tonight

Space weather forecasters expected auroras tonight, but they arrived a night early and put on a great show till dawn. I noticed a slight glow low in the northern sky around 9:30, so I packed up the telescope and drove to a dark spot. At 10 o’clock, the crescent moon was still bright in the…
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Northern Lights Alert April 19-20

I had planned on looking at a few things in the telescope tonight, but an unexpected aurora got the better of the sky and my time. It was spectacular, and I’ll have photos to share later this morning. But I just wanted to alert you that the aurora is still out there (certainly over Duluth,…
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