Minimalist Sun May Stoke Aurora Tonight

It’s been a long time, but skywatchers in the northern U.S. states have a shot at seeing the aurora beginning at nightfall tonight through about 1 a.m. (Central Time). We’ve been in a dry spell for northern lights for some time now. That’s not surprising considering that the sun is slouching toward the next solar…
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Northern Lights May Shine Tonight June 1-2

You can often count on coronal holes to provide auroras even when solar activity is low. Today for instance there’s only one small sunspot group, and it’s very “quiet.” But invisible to the eye, a coronal hole has been blasting us like a garden hose with a stream of subatomic particles that raises the possibility…
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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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