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Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! #860033 03/23/14 01:41 PM
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There are lots of interesting and beautiful effects to see in the sky, if you remember to look up from time to time. Besides the stars and planets in the night sky, there are wonderful effects of light and clouds during the day or night. A rainbow is an obvious one - a friend and I saw a lovely one last week from the Kew botanical gardens near London. That was really the icing on the cake. But there are many other things you might see.

Here is a Sun halo. Ice crystals or other moisture in the air can bend sunlight to create this circle around the Sun. I've never actually seen one myself, though I have seen a moon halo.


Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 04/11/14 04:42 AM.

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Lunar halo [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #860222 03/25/14 12:25 PM
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The Moon halo I saw wasn't as splendid at this one where the halo surrounds the Moon, Jupiter and Venus, which is really quite something.


Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 04/15/14 05:22 PM.

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Sunset at Kruger National Park, South Africa [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #860560 03/29/14 07:55 PM
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I love it when the sun backlights clouds, outlining them in gold. Here's an especially beautiful example of this as the Sun is setting. Not white clouds outlined in gold, but fabulous sunset colors with gold outlines: Sunset at Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 06/23/14 06:02 PM.

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Sun dogs [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #861637 04/13/14 10:07 AM
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This is something you may well have seen and perhaps thought it an illusion of some kind. It's a sun dog. It's more common to see them than a full halo around the Sun. It does look rather like a bit of rainbow, but the colors don't have the sharp clarity of a rainbow. I've seen them often, and although there should be one either side of the Sun, one of them is often not visible for various reasons.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 04/15/14 05:21 PM.

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Lunar corona [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #861823 04/15/14 05:18 PM
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This picture was in the gallery at SpaceWeather.com today. It shows that the lunar eclipse wasn't the only show in town last night. This is a particularly colorful lunar corona. You can often see these - though not quite this intense - when there are clouds crossing in front of the Moon.


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Rising Moon at Sunset [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #862114 04/20/14 12:52 PM
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The Moon looks so different at different times of night, with different effects of light and cloud, against different backgrounds, and at different phases. It's worth looking out for it. Here is a superb view of moonrise at sunset. It was taken in Florida by someone setting up his equipment to watch this month's lunar eclipse. It's a stunning picture.


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Re: Rising Moon at Sunset [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #862153 04/21/14 04:26 AM
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Hello Mona,

What a feast! Thank you very much for putting these photographs up, it's a fascinating world we have 'above' and around us. I garden by the moon so am usually aware and enjoy the night sky where I live. I have a friend who lives on the fifth floor of a building and I often go to watch the sunsets or the full moons etc. from his balcony and they are a life treat for sure.

That photograph of sunset in Kruger is magnificent. I must say that the sunsets are quite exquisite in this part of the world - not only Kruger but most places ... and especially at this time of the year (autumn going into winter).

Thank you for your awesome pictures, really beautiful.

Cheers


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Light pillar [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #862672 04/27/14 09:54 AM
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You might think that this is a spotlight of some kind, but it's a light pillar. It's caused by light bouncing off ice crystals in the air. Interestingly, this one isn't caused by natural snowflakes, but by the snow-blowing machines that ski resorts were using them to create snow.


Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 03/15/16 08:38 AM.

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Fire Rainbows [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #863671 05/13/14 10:35 AM
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A circumhorizontal arc is a very rare sky phenomenon. Its common name is "fire rainbow" even though it's not a rainbow and has nothing to do with fire. The coloring is like a rainbow, but it involves ice crystals of a certain size, the Sun at a certain angle and cirrus clouds at a specific height. You can see why it's rare! Click for four fire rainbows.


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Crescent moon [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #865351 06/01/14 04:30 AM
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This isn't something you see often - the tiniest sliver of a crescent Moon. And the photographer has caught it between two tall buildings for dramatic effect.


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Starry sky and Space Station over Darmstadt [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #866201 06/10/14 03:27 PM
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In a post called "Earth from Space - beautiful images" I linked to a beautiful image taken by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst on board the ISS. He, along with the rest of Expedition 40, launched to the station at the end of March.

But he's not the only photographer around! For here is a composite image of the ISS going over Darmstadt a few days ago with Expedition 40 on board. Darmstadt is where the Space Operations Center for the European Space Agency (ESA) is located. Look at the starry sky! I'm sure you can pick out the Big Dipper (Plough). Cygnus the Swan is also there, containing the asterism of the Northern Cross. Low in the sky is also the "W" of Cassiopeia.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 06/23/14 06:01 PM.

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Noctilucent clouds [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #868415 06/23/14 06:00 PM
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It's the season for noctilucent clouds, though I admit that I haven't seen any. When they're visible, it's during the summer months between about 50-70 degrees north or south, soon after sunset. They're a very high layer of ice crystals which we can't normally see, but in the right circumstances, the Sun lights them up from below the horizon.


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Noctilucent clouds [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #869969 07/07/14 06:21 AM
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In late spring and summer, if you're somewhere between 50° to 70° north (or south) of the equator, you might be fortunate to see an eerily beautiful sight, noctilucent clouds. They're Earth's highest clouds, forming high in the atmosphere near the edge of space, and are sometimes seen in the hours after sunset. This picture was taken recently in Holland.


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More noctilucent clouds [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #873263 08/03/14 04:14 PM
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Since I keep finding pictures of them, you may be starting to think that noctilucent clouds are very common. Not so. I've only ever seen them once and that wasn't as impressive as the pictures I put up.

And here are some more. One is a splendid video of noctilucent clouds over London. The second is a beautiful photo taken in the Netherlands.


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Re: More noctilucent clouds [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #873264 08/03/14 05:06 PM
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Soo cool <3

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #878637 09/28/14 11:39 AM
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You'd have to have been in Russia to see this particular sight. It's a fabulous sunrise at the Baikonur cosmodrome where a Soyuz rocket was being prepared to send Expedition 41 to the International Space Station last week.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #882043 11/07/14 10:47 AM
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This is an absolutely mind-boggling cloud called a Fallstreak hole or hole punch cloud. It was seen recently in Korumburra, Victoria in Australia. I've never seen anything like it before, even in a photograph.


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A glorious night of northern lights [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #882854 11/24/14 07:33 PM
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Unfortunately, you usually have to be quite far to the north or south to see an aurora. (Though sometimes during a solar storm the mid-latitudes get lucky too.)

This photograph was taken yesterday night in northern Norway. It was apparently a great night of superb aurorae in the Arctic Circle. Aurorae, of course, are the delightful outcome of particles from the Sun interacting with Earth's magnetic field. Appropriately, the dish in the picture belongs to EISCAT which studies interactions between Earth and Sun. You can also see the Milky Way.


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Nacreous clouds - can you believe these?! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #884259 12/25/14 04:45 PM
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Spaceweather.com put up this picture a few days ago. It shows the most absolutely amazing unbelievably colored clouds imaginable. I have certainly never seen anything like it. They're called mother of pearl clouds, and their beautiful colors come from sunlight shining through ice crystals.


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Halo effects [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #885400 01/13/15 01:08 PM
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I've put up pictures of sun dogs and a sun halo before, but this magnificent photograph is full of halo effects. It was taken last week in New Mexico. It's really amazing what beautiful things can happen when you mix sunlight and ice crystals.

If you're interested in what each of these effects is called, here is a labelled version of the picture.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #886914 02/21/15 05:32 AM
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I saw a sliver of a crescent Moon last night. I could also see the ghostly shape of the dark part of the Moon. This is called earthshine. Our planet also reflects sunlight and some of it is reflected to the Moon and then back to us again. Lovely effect.

Here is an exquisite picture of the new crescent Moon taken the other night in Antelope Valley, California. The enlargement of the Moon photo is even more splendid.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #886951 02/22/15 03:20 AM
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Hi Mona,

Thanks for this awesome picture - the earthshine is clearly visible ... I feel like a 'caveman' sometimes when I look up at the skies. How they must have wondered at it all without knowing what was actually happening - as I do now with explanations.

More pics please of anything skywise when you're ready! Ta. Smile now.

Cheers


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #886982 02/23/15 01:40 PM
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Lestie, glad you liked the Moon. Here's a more ambitious photo, and no one could just look up into the sky and see what's there. Of course, a good start would be to go to the European Southern Observatory in La Silla (Chile). Then you could see some of the world's clearest skies and far below, the Pan American Highway. But this picture is a composite, using a series of long exposure photos taken last month.

Taking center stage, glowing green, is Comet Lovejoy. Up and to the right is a well-known star cluster - you can read more about the Pleiades by clicking on the link. Further to the right, level with the comet, is the red California Nebula. It's a star-forming region, and hot young stars make the hydrogen gas glow red. To the left of the comet, there is a meteor streaking towards the horizon.

I have to admit my ignorance in the matter of the green sky - I don't know what causes it. The orange sky to the right is almost certainly low cloud reflecting the glow of earthly lights.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #886992 02/23/15 03:37 PM
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Hi Mona,

The picture is very interesting - I don't think I have seen as many stars in the sky as you can see in that photograph. Or maybe I did when I was a kid and we lived on a farm ... and maybe I have just forgotten?

My Dad used to talk to us about the seven sisters (he certainly didn't call them the Pleiades) And whenever, he would point out the southern cross and the big dipper. You would have thought I would have learnt more but somehow I didn't.

Anyway, it's not too late to do more reading and visiting our planetarium here in Johannesburg. Of course it is not Sutherland in the Cape or La Silla in Chile, but there is so much to see regardless.

Thanks for your articles!

Cheers now*


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Volcano - ash plume and lightning [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889281 04/01/15 04:40 PM
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This is a combination of earthly sight and sky sight. It's the Colima Volcano in Mexico erupting on March 29, 2015. The photographer has caught the ash plume and lightning. Breath-taking.


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Re: Volcano - ash plume and lightning [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889285 04/01/15 10:29 PM
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Mona, that is beautiful! Wow, what a picture!

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889440 04/06/15 10:51 AM
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A problem with long exposures of the sky is fuzzy stars. Telescopes can be set to track objects so they lock onto them even as the Earth moves. This gives clear star images. Unless a camera is attached to a tracking device, you won't be able to get this clarity. *But* the problem can be turned into an asset, because the trails of the stars due to our motion can be very effective. In this photograph the long exposure has enhanced an aurora and created some splendid star trails.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889447 04/06/15 01:06 PM
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Mona, that is great! What an awesome pic! Breathtaking. I need a telescope so I can get a glimpse. I used to have one but not anymore. frown

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889451 04/06/15 02:15 PM
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Jana, a telescope would be fun, but if you have some decent binoculars you can see lots of interesting things. Personally, I can't be bothered with fussing around with a telescope - I like the portability of binoculars.

But the aurora with star trails is a camera thing anyhow. Optical aids don't add anything to aurorae. If you're lucky enough to see one, your best best friends are your eyes and maybe a digital camera. Your eyes follow the motion and of an active aurora and you may see it filling the whole sky. Fabulous. Except that you don't get much color except with the camera - this article explains why our eyes don't detect the color. And of course, star trails are only a long-exposure camera thing.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #889469 04/06/15 04:03 PM
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Yeah, it would be. I'll keep the binoculars in mind. I'll have to check them out. My dad and I used at the constellations with the telescope he brought home from grade school (he's a retired school teacher). We also used to shoot off rockets (he was the leader of the rocket club). Lots of fond memories.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #890050 04/15/15 08:50 AM
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I know there are BellaOnline readers who live near the Equator or in the southern hemisphere. But most of us are in the northern hemisphere, so this view of the sky is unfamiliar.

I once was able to make a short visit to the southern hemisphere and see the stars shown in the picture. The two bright stars are Alpha and Beta Centauri. (Alpha Centauri is the nearest neighbor to our Solar System.) You can also see the Southern Cross. Since it's a dark sky, the Milky Way is there too.

But there's something else in this sky: lots of yellow streaks. They are real, but the streakiness comes from a long exposure. Sometimes we see star trails in a photo. These are firefly trails!

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 06/08/15 06:54 AM.

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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #891046 05/04/15 05:19 PM
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An exquisite picture of Mt Rainier, Washington, USA. You can see the Milky Way here, and a green color to the sky that is not an aurora. It's airglow. Unlike aurorae, airglow covers the entire planet and is there all the time, caused by reactions between solar energy and certain air molecules. It's just not visible in daytime due to sunlight, and is hard to spot at night from other light pollution.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 05/06/15 03:10 AM.

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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #891106 05/05/15 05:55 PM
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That's beautiful Mona! Wow! There are certainly some wonders to be seen in the night sky. I need to get myself back out and do some star gazing again one of these days.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #892432 05/20/15 05:28 PM
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This isn't an astronomical photo, but rather a meteorological one. It's a breathtaking stormy sky photographed recently in Germany. The lightning and the dramatic clouds are fantastic. The photographer, Jonathan Besler, has captured a splendid panorama. (I can't say that I'm happy with the light pollution in evidence here, though it does add interest to the photo.)


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #892445 05/20/15 07:25 PM
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Thank you so much Mona for bringing all these great things to my attention. I find myself looking up at the night sky now instead of just drawing the curtains and getting the room darker.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #892471 05/21/15 12:51 AM
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I love that stormy sky. Thanks for sharing Mona! Yes, many thanks for all the wonderful things you have shared.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #893399 06/02/15 11:31 AM
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Achoo! There's – achoo! – pollen around. Runny eyes, itchy nose, and pollen coronas. Achoo!

Hang on. Wait a minute. What's a pollen corona?

It's kind of like an ice halo, but it's the alignment of pollen grains in the air that cause the effect, not ice crystals. Ice halos are also big and easy to see, but pollen coronas are much smaller, fainter and closer to the Sun or Moon. This closeness means they get swamped by sunlight or moonlight.

Astronomer Bob King suggests getting something solid in front of you that will block the bright disc of the Sun or Moon, and then letting your eyes get used to the dark. “Look for an oval glow, sometimes tinted with rainbow colors, right up next to the Moon or Sun's edge.” A full Moon in June is a good time to look, he says.

And here's a colorful pollen grain lunar corona.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #893424 06/02/15 05:14 PM
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I'm going to try that tonight. If my brain cooperates with me. smile It seems I need to set things in my cell phone to remember them.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #893733 06/05/15 05:07 PM
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Here is a very rare sight, and in an rather unexpected place. It's a sky full of mammatus clouds. These clouds look like little pouches, or indeed breasts. after which they're named. We usually associate them with warm tropic weather, so they were a real surprise on June 4th in Novosibirsk in Siberia. Some people joked about it, but other seemed more serious, in saying that it looked like the end of the world.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #893739 06/05/15 05:36 PM
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I love the colors. Beautiful clouds.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #895780 07/03/15 04:45 AM
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A recent visitor to Crater Lake in Oregon braved mosquitos and forewent a night's sleep to enjoy the splendors of the night sky. Here is one of her pictures of the Milky Way over Crater Lake. Exquisite. Sadly, fewer and fewer people are able to see the Milky Way.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #896008 07/07/15 09:21 AM
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Beautiful fiery gibbous Moon, but created by sad circumstances. Heavy smoke from Canadian forest fires several days ago caused the coloring. This photo was taken by astronomer Bob King.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #901260 10/12/15 08:47 AM
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I've seen lots of mountains, but I've never seen lenticular clouds. From the photographs, it's quite a sight. Here is a recent picture of lentinuclar clouds formed over Mt Shasta in northern California. They're lit by moonlight - wow!

Besides needing mountains, for these clouds to form the conditions have to be just so, which is why they're not seen more commonly.

Credit and copyright: Brad Goldpaint/Goldpaint Photography.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #901270 10/12/15 09:44 AM
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Whoa!!! Mona, that picture taken at Mt. Shasta is absolutely astonishing!!!

I have been going out each morning this week, because I'm up before dawn, and looking at the beautiful sky to the East. For several mornings, it was quite a treat with the crescent moon.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #901369 10/13/15 04:30 AM
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Deanna, the moonlit lenticular clouds were otherwordly, but here's another shot of the clouds at Mr Shasta - complete with sunset. I've added this to my wallpaper pictures.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #901379 10/13/15 11:14 AM
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Oh Mona, that image is so beautiful!!!

I love Mt. Shasta. I've never visited, but I've driven by it four times. It's pretty spectacular - especially in the images you shared.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #902061 10/24/15 11:24 AM
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I would love to have seen this magnificent rainbow cloud, but it was spotted over Costa Rica, a place I've never been.

The cloud formation, called a pileus or cap cloud, forms when a building thunderstorm rises quickly in height. As it does this, the air above it cools and condenses into a cloud that looks a bit like a hat sitting on another cloud. The rainbow was the result of ice crystals refracting sunlight.

(The Internet was abuzz with people who'd decided it meant the end of the world, rather than a thunderstorm, was coming. Sigh)


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Tsunami cloud [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #902920 11/11/15 05:47 PM
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This cloud that looks like the wave of a tsunami is a shelf cloud coming in over Sydney, Australia. What an amazing - and at the same time, horrifying - sight. It was nearly two miles long. It brought thunderstorms, heavy rain and high winds.

In fact, a shelf cloud is usually the leading edge of a thunderstorm. It's attached to the base of the cloud that contains the storm.The wave-like appearance is caused by the cool sinking air from the storm's downdraft spreading out over the land and meeting the warm air being drawn into the storm's updraft.

Photo: Richard Hirst
Story: Earthables


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Taurid fireball [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #903192 11/17/15 05:30 PM
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Here is a bright fireball photographed from the Swiss Alps. The fireball, probably from the Taurids meteor shower, was not only bright, but created an orange glow that lingered for several minutes. This is called a persistent train. The Orion Nebula is visible on the upper left and the bright blue star Rigel, part of the constellation of Orion, is visible to the right. The Taurids occur in late October/early November. They're not spectacular in terms of large numbers, but the ones you see tend to be bright, slow-moving and leave a trail. (Image Credit: Ivo Scheggia)


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Milky Way over Monument Valley [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #903360 11/22/15 12:29 PM
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Not many people can look up and see the Milky Way arched over Monument Valley, USA. Though anyone who's watched enough classic westerns may realize that they've seen some of the iconic scenery. And although you'd have to go to Utah to see Monument Valley, you can pretty much see the Milky Way anywhere with a dark sky and a clear night.

This is a link to the whole Astronomy Picture of the Day page. If you run the cursor over the picture, you will see the names of some of the earthly features and some of the heavenly ones.

The picture was taken by the excellent astrophotographer Wally Pacholka (AstroPics.com, TWAN).


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Moonbow [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #903491 11/26/15 11:24 AM
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Here is a very rare sight - a moonbow. Like a rainbow, a moonbow involves rain and sunlight. BUT it isn't created by direct sunlight being refracted by rain clouds. It's moonlight (which is reflected sunlight) being refracted by rain clouds.

Víðir Björnsson took this picture near Stykkishólmur, West Iceland, Sunday evening. What a wonderful thing to see.


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Crescent Moon, Venus and Comet [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #904241 12/12/15 06:10 PM
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On December 7, a crescent Moon and Venus appeared close together in the sky. This is called a conjunction. In this photo you can also see Comet Catalina if you look at the bottom of the picture, somewhat left of center. The comet has two tails, a dust tail and an ion tail. The Moon is lit both by the Sun and by earthshine. Exquisite picture. (Credit: Greg Hogan)

Click to find out more about Comets or about Earthshine.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #904324 12/15/15 07:13 AM
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Spaceweather.Com says that "An outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds (PMCs) is underway around the Arctic Circle." I've spent the last ten days in or near the Arctic Circle and have seen lots of clouds, but haven't seen anything that looked like these beauties.

Apparently these are polar stratospheric clouds and they form at some 25 km above the Earth's surface, much higher than normal clouds. The picture was taken by Sarah Skinner in Abisko, Sweden.

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley says
Quote:
Nacreous clouds far outshine and have much more vivid colours than ordinary iridescent clouds, which are very much poor relations and seen frequently all over the world. Once seen they are never forgotten.

I can certainly believe that.


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Dark Dakota Skies [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #905670 01/16/16 10:46 AM
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One of the many beautiful skyskapes from Randy Halverson of Dakotalapse. A treasure - especially for those of us (i.e., most of us these days) who views of the night sky are obscured by light pollution.


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Re: Dark Dakota Skies [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #905671 01/16/16 10:56 AM
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The sky is awesome. That is why astronomers of old studied the heavens.

Re: Dark Dakota Skies [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #905835 01/18/16 11:56 PM
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The night here is cold and clear for the time being. The sky looks beautiful. When I was a little girl, I worried that the stars were cold.


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Rainbow clouds on St Brigid's Day [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #906475 02/04/16 12:28 AM
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On February 1st - St Brigid's Day - beautiful pastel-colored clouds were seen across Ireland and parts of England. These clouds form high in the atmosphere where ice crystals refract sunlight.


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Re: Rainbow clouds on St Brigid's Day [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #906477 02/04/16 01:01 AM
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Mona, amazing! Did you take this photograph? It's beautiful. Almost like cotton candy.


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Polar stratospheric clouds [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #906488 02/04/16 09:24 AM
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No, I didn't take the picture. I've never seen polar stratospheric clouds (their technical name), also called nacreous clouds. They're unusual to see them at these altitudes, and I've never been lucky enough to see any in Norway either. They're still rate, but more likely to be seen at high latitudes. I saw the St Brigid's Day story on a news report, but there are some other pictures of them in this thread.


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Light pillars seen in the UK [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #908067 03/15/16 08:56 AM
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A few days ago (March 11) a geomagnetic storm had people even as far south as south Wales out looking at aurorae. A few of them also saw light pillars. Here is a zoom of the sky. [Image credits: Allan Trow and Andy Burns]

The pillars are caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere reflecting light and are more likely to be seen in polar regions than in the Rhigos mountains in south Wales. Local astronomers think the light reflected could have come from the Port Talbot steelworks which are just over the other side of the mountain.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #908826 04/07/16 07:20 AM
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Yesterday morning as the Sun was rising, Venus disappeared behind the crescent Moon. This is called an occultation. Mohamad Soltanolkotabi caught Venus just before it was hidden in a superb picture taken from Tenerife, Spain.

He said,
Quote:
Among hundreds of morning and evening crescents I have seen during recent 15 years ago it was the first time I saw a planetary occultation at the same time. The Moon appeared in the western horizon in Tenerife island while Venus was only 0.1° far away from the crescent. It was a fantastic memorable experience in my whole life!


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Badlands National Park - dark skies [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #910978 06/06/16 01:29 PM
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You wouldn't see a sky like this just any old place. First of all, you'd need a dark sky site, and those are gradually disappearing. Randy Halverson of Dakotalapse took this photo in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Not only is he noted as a superb photographer, but he shares his expertise by running the occasional workshop.


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Re: Badlands National Park - dark skies [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #910985 06/06/16 02:56 PM
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I love that photo. Also today, I purchased some postage stamps - the planets. Have you seen them?

Re: Badlands National Park - dark skies [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #910987 06/06/16 03:58 PM
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I love that picture too, it must be amazing to be able to see this in person!

Re: Badlands National Park - dark skies [Re: Angie] #910990 06/06/16 05:00 PM
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Angie, I haven't seen the new stamps, though I knew they were coming out and have seen pictures of them.

For others who haven't seen them, here are Views of The Planets.
Quote:
With this pane of 16 Forever stamps, the Postal Service showcases some of the more visually compelling historic, full-disk images of the planets obtained during the last half-century of space exploration. Some show the planets’ “true color”. Others use colors to represent and visualize certain features of a planet based on imaging data. Still others use the near-infrared spectrum to show things that cannot be seen by the human eye.

(Credits: USPS/Antonio Alcalá © 2016 USPS)


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Re: Badlands National Park - dark skies [Re: Nancy Roussy] #911004 06/07/16 04:13 AM
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Nancy, I agree. So beautiful. My skies are beset with light pollution and/or clouds. I have seen the Milky Way from the fjords of Norway, but even there where the sky is dark (except for northern lights - hurray!) I'm on a ship that has its own light pollution.


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Re: Badlands National Park - dark skies [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #911017 06/07/16 03:57 PM
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Mona,

I am lucky for that because here there is no air pollution and almost no lights at night (it makes it scary to walk at night so i rarely do). The water stinks a lot, is not a beautiful color and there's a lot of things laying around the beach frown.

Wow, seeing the Milky Way in Norway! You are lucky smile!

Noctilucent clouds [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912007 07/10/16 07:36 AM
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Looking at this picture taken in Brentford in West London, you might think it was taken at the start of sunrise or the end of sunset to account for such luminescence. But in fact it was taken just after 2.00 a.m. when the sky was still fairly dark. The sky over the Thames is being lit up by noctilucent (night-shining) clouds.

Noctilucent clouds are the Earth's highest clouds, a layer of ice crystals forming near the edge of space. We can't usually see them, but sometimes in the summer the unseen Sun may be at an angle that means when it shines on this layer, the reflection is visible somewhere between 50° to 70° north (or south) of the equator.


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Re: Noctilucent clouds [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #912016 07/10/16 01:38 PM
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Beautiful sight and picture!

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #913534 09/09/16 03:09 AM
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There was an annular solar eclipse on September 1st. In an annular eclipse the full Moon doesn't quite cover the Sun, so it leaves a fiery ring. This eclipse was seen over a small part of southern Africa, but most was over water. Astrophotographer Luc Perror was on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. He took a frame every 4 minutes and ends as the Sun sets. (If you click to get the picture, click also on the picture itself to get the full picture.)

Image Credit & Copyright: Luc Perrot (TWAN)


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #914699 10/06/16 06:58 PM
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If you happen to live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, you may have seen sunset at Edmontonhenge. This picture was taken on September 18 on Jasper Avenue. If the city's streets were laid out precisely oriented along the cardinal directions, there would be a sunset like this on both equinoxes. (It has a sort of Stonehenge feel to it.) The orientation is close, but not precise, so the setting Sun aligns with Jasper Avenue on the 18th of September, not the autumn equinox.

Image Credit & Copyright: Luca Vanzella


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #917060 01/11/17 05:53 PM
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Moonset in New York Harbor on January 1, 2017. The Moon, 3 days old, was a waxing [growing] crescent. You can also see Venus shining very brightly. The illuminated State of Liberty adds to the splendor.

Image Credit & Copyright: Stan Honda


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #917085 01/12/17 06:51 PM
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These light pillars in Ontario must have been absolutely amazing to see. I've never seen a light pillar, and I've never before seen a photo of a skyful of them.

CBC News explained:
Quote:
Light pillars appear when either natural or artificial light bounces off ice crystals floating close to the ground. In this case, the air was so cold that ice crystals were forming in the air, reflecting the city's street and business lights.

Photo credit: Timothy Joseph Elzinga, taken on his cellphone


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #917132 01/12/17 11:14 PM
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I was just out walking the dog. It is a beautiful evening. Although there is some cloudiness, the moon is full and bright.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #917893 02/01/17 05:29 PM
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Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic A beautiful sunset sky with Venus and a crescent Moon visible. You can often see something just as pretty if you have a view to the west.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #917894 02/01/17 06:38 PM
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Beautiful sight!

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #918129 02/12/17 05:44 AM
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You would have to be high in the Chilean Andes to look up and see this sight. But southern hemisphere readers may recognize some of the constellations that aren't seen in the northern sky. An unusual feature of this image is the luminous airglow. That's what's making the sky green, rather like an aurora. However airglow isn't caused by charged particles from the Sun, but rather by chemical processes in the upper atmosphere.

The sky features are labelled, so you can distinguish galaxies, planets, a nebula, a star cluster and various constellations. The Very Large Telescope (VLT) collection of telescopes on the Cerro Paranal is labelled. That's run by the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN)


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #918186 02/15/17 02:59 AM
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In the far north people have been seeing polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs). This photo was taken by Lars Lehnert in Abisko, Sweden. The stratosphere, high in the atmosphere, is very dry. But if the temperature falls to around -85ºC, tiny ice crystals can form. Sunlight shining through the ice crystals produce this colorful iridescent glow.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #918187 02/15/17 03:36 AM
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Wow! That is beautiful!

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #918199 02/15/17 08:08 PM
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Love the photos - they are so moving.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #918294 02/20/17 05:02 PM
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You would have to go to the far north to see Arctic lights like these. The picture was taken by Tommy Richardsen on February 7th this year. Northern Norway's Lyngen Alps are lit by the moon and an aurora.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #918296 02/20/17 06:06 PM
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Wow!

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #918373 02/24/17 06:07 PM
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David Yu isn't an astrophotographer, but he is a very talented photographer who takes exquisite photos in and around San Francisco. Shot this morning, this photo shows a waning crescent moon with earthshine in a beautiful early morning sky.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #918949 03/20/17 03:52 AM
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From SpaceWeather.com:
Quote:
On March 25th, Venus will pass almost directly between Earth and the sun--an event astronomers call "inferior solar conjunction." As Venus approaches the sun, the planet is turning its night side toward Earth, reducing its luminous glow to a thin sliver. Shahrin Ahmad of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been monitoring the transformation and says "The crescent is both narrowing and rotating as Venus approaches inferior conjunction."


They add a warning:
Quote:
Right now, Venus is plunging toward the sun in the western sky at sunset. As the distance decreases, the crescent of Venus will become increasingly thin and circular. The horns of the crescent might actually touch when the Venus-sun angle is least on March 25th. This is the most beautiful time to observe Venus, but also the most perilous. The glare of the nearby sun magnified by a telescope can damage the eyes of anyone looking through the eyepiece.


If you're tempted to look at Venus when it's close to the Sun, get advice on how to protect your eyes - from an experienced astronomer or an online search.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #919487 04/11/17 06:11 PM
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Here is something not many people ever see: the aurora australis. They aren't seen as often as the aurora borealis because there are fewer people living in the area of the southern hemisphere where they may be seen.

The Sun has set in Antarctica this year. The picture shows the first glimpse of the aurora in Antarctica.

Photo credit: Hunter Davis at the South Pole April 11, 2017.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #919488 04/11/17 06:49 PM
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Beautiful!

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #919594 04/16/17 11:02 AM
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The northern lights haven't quite disappeared from the far north, as this picture from last night in Sall, Finland shows. However the dark skies are being replaced by twilight and it won't be long before the Sun rises and then doesn't set again for several months.

Photo credit: B.Art Braafhart


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #919596 04/16/17 11:53 AM
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Wow, beautiful sight.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #920167 05/07/17 10:50 PM
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Aldebaran near a young crescent Moon on April 28, 2017. From some locations the Moon was seen to pass in front of Aldebaran. In this picture taken near Laggio di Cadore in Italy Aldebaran is just emerging from behind the Moon. You can also see earthshine on the Moon.

Image Credit & Copyright: Giorgia Hofer


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #920181 05/08/17 08:46 AM
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That picture looks like a painting.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #920396 05/16/17 06:58 PM
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This image of Earth wasn't acquired by looking up. Astronaut Scott Kelly was looking down when he took the picture.

Quote:
What bizarre alien planet is this? It's planet Earth of course, seen from the International Space Station through the shimmering glow of aurorae. About 400 kilometers (250 miles) above Earth, the orbiting station is itself within the upper realm of the auroral displays. Aurorae have the signature colors of excited molecules and atoms at the low densities found at extreme altitudes. Emission from atomic oxygen dominates this view. The eerie glow is green at lower altitudes, but a rarer reddish band extends above the space station's horizon. Also visible from the planet's surface, this auroral display began during a geomagnetic storm. The storm was triggered after a coronal mass ejection impacted Earth's magnetosphere in June of 2015.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #920397 05/16/17 07:47 PM
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Wow! Amazing! Also scary since falling in the deep of space is like a phobia for me but I still would go in space if I could!

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #921486 07/01/17 07:00 AM
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NASA launched a sounding rocket from its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 4:25 a.m. on June 29th. It produced a colorful display of "space clouds" during its 8-minute flight. More than 100 miles above Earth's surface the rocket deployed ten canisters about the size of soft drink cans. The canisters dispensed barium, strontium and cupric-oxide, which interacted to form blue-green and red vapors. They were visible from New York to North Carolina.

Christopher Becke captured this image from Williamsburg, Virginia. There is blurriness in the clouds and lines that look like rain, but are star trails. This is an effect of a long camera exposure.

NASA said that the chemicals "pose[d] no hazard to residents along the mid-Atlantic coast." Such clouds allow scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions at the edge of space, giving them new insights into the dynamics of Earth's ionosphere.

Credit: report from SpaceWeather.com


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #921487 07/01/17 08:25 AM
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UFOs for sure.... if seen from Earth. smile

Originally Posted By Mona - Astronomy
It produced a colorful display of "space clouds"
Credit: report from SpaceWeather.com

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #921623 07/08/17 05:55 AM
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Noctilucent clouds over Denmark earlier this week. The photo was taken by Ruslan Merzlyakov who said, "The whole sky was filled with the shining silver, stretching from west to east and even right above my head!"

SpaceWeather.com explains
Quote:
Noctilucent clouds form when summertime wisps of water vapor rise to the top of the atmosphere, coating specks of meteor smoke with fragile crystals of ice. This process requires temperatures as low as 145 K (-128 C). In early June, an unexpected heat wave in the mesosphere temporarily wiped out noctilucent clouds. Their return proves that the heat wave is over.

Noctilucent clouds are usually confined to near-Arctic latitudes. In recent years, however, they have been sighted as far south as Utah and Kansas in the United States.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #922053 07/28/17 09:22 AM
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You're not very likely to look up and get this view. This amazing photo is of a rare phenomenon called a Ggantic Jet and the image was captured by the Gemini cloudcam on Mauna Kea in Hawaii on July 24.

There were at least three of these jets shooting up from atop thunderclouds, the tallest stretched out into the ionosphere around 80 km overhead.

Credits: Gemini cloucam, Frankie Lucena, Steve Cullen.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #922328 08/08/17 04:39 PM
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A rare pink rainbow over the west of England. Apparently, it's caused by having an ordinary rainbow happening with a pink sunset. Fantastic!

Photo Credit: Sarah Aggett, BBC


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #922591 08/22/17 03:05 AM
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I have been to Monument Valley. And on very rare occasions have seen the Milky Way. But not together. Tom Masterson has captured a dazzling picture of the Milky Way over Monument Valley.
Quote:
The rock peaks are called buttes - they're the hard rock left when the softer rock has been eroded. The closest butte on the left and the butte to its right are known as the Mittens, while Merrick Butte can be seen farther to the right. Green airglow fans up from the horizon. High overhead stretches a band of diffuse light that is the central disk of our spiral Milky Way Galaxy. The band of the Milky Way can be spotted by almost anyone on almost any clear night when far enough from a city and surrounding bright lights, but a sensitive digital camera is needed to capture these colors in a dark night sky.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #922593 08/22/17 08:10 AM
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what an awesome shot. Makes you realize how beautiful our planet is.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923223 09/20/17 04:27 AM
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You'd have to be on Easter Island off the coast of Chile to see this view of Orion and Sirius above an ancient Moai statue. Just wow!

And here is an annotated version of Yuri Beletsky's photo. There are over 800 giant stone statues on the island. They're about 700 years old and no one knows their origin or purpose.

Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Observatory, TWAN)


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923240 09/20/17 01:18 PM
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Love it. It will be my next wallpaper.

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923760 10/15/17 05:28 PM
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Almost all of us could look up into the night sky for decades and we wouldn't see anything as marvelous as the Milky Way and Zodiacal Light over Australian Pinnacles. That's because most of us don't live in Australia - and those that do don't hang around in this part of Western Australia. But - WOW! - what a picture.

This photo was taken in Nambung National Park. The spires are made of limestone (rock formed from ancient sea shells). Arching across the sky is our own Milky Way Galaxy, seen edge on. Rising from the horizon near the center of the picture is zodiacal light. That's sunlight reflected by interplanetary dust grains. You can also see Jupiter and Saturn and a few bright stars.

Here is an annotated version of Milky Way and Zodiacal Light over Australian Pinnacles if you want to identify the stars and planets.

Image Credit & Copyright: Jingyi Zhang


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923762 10/15/17 06:30 PM
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Incredible. and a dark sky and no light pollution.

Last edited by Angie; 10/15/17 06:31 PM.
Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923769 10/16/17 09:10 AM
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I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to Patagonia for a number of reasons, but the dark sky is certainly one of them!


"....and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." - John Lennon
Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923776 10/16/17 04:02 PM
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Korie, wow! Patagonia. Sounds wonderful. Did you know that there are Welsh settlements there (primarily Y Wladfa)? Though the younger folk have moved away from the language, there are still a few thousand people people who can speak it. And of course many people have names like Rodrigo Jones or Alicia Edwards.

And sigh . . . the dark skies. Be sure to tell us about the trip when you go!


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #923961 10/24/17 02:40 PM
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You might see the Milky Way in a fabulous night sky from many dark sky sites.

But the blue glow of the sea in this picture is rare - it's bioluminescence in the waters. Photographer Jeffrey Berkes wrote to Space.com
Quote:
On my previous trips I never saw any sign bioluminescence in the waters, but nature likes to surprise you some times and let me tell you I was in awe!

The photo was taken from Cannon Beach in Oregon around the Haystack Rock Bird Sanctuary.

Credit: Jeffrey Berkes


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #925606 01/04/18 05:26 PM
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If you had been in Sweden's Vemdalen Ski Resort with a Sun halo in the sky, you would certainly have looked up to see it.

In the video, water has frozen into flat six-sided ice crystals. In certain circumstances an observer might see them when they're aligned with the falling crystals near sunlight or sunset. The crystals are miniature lenses and refract sunlight to create sundogs either side of the Sun. You can also see a Sun halo in the center.

Video Credit & Copyright: HÃ¥kan Hammar (Vemdalen Ski Resort, SkiStar)


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #925652 01/06/18 05:55 PM
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This picture of Jupiter and Mars cozying up was taken from an aircraft. However on Sunday January 7 you might see them from the ground before dawn in the southeastern sky. They're closest together in the sky on Sunday, but will still be close for several days after that.

This shot was taken in the early morning January 5, Jupiter (left) and Mars (middle) are also lined-up with the the star Zubenelgenubi (right). Below are lights from central Europe near Prague, Czech Republic.

Image Credit & Copyright: Dong Han


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #927149 04/03/18 06:32 PM
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I was going to share with you one of Michael Shainblum's fantastic sky pictures from California. But when I found that it was part of a series, I couldn't choose. Have a look at California Milky Way Photography and choose your favorite. If you can!


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #927152 04/03/18 09:05 PM
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Dear Mona,

Now I see why it was hard to decide!! Those are probably some of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen! They're almost unreal!
Thanks for sharing this.

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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #927553 04/28/18 10:31 AM
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On April 26, Harlan Thomas in Alberta, Canada saw rare concentric Sun halos in the sky. SpaceWeather explains:
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Many sky watchers have witnessed a halo around the sun--a single ring of light that surrounds the solar disk at a radius of 22 degrees. The phenomenon is caused by pencil-shaped ice crystals in cirrus clouds that bend sunlight. [But in this case the concentric rings] are caused by ice crystals in the shape of pyramids.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #927612 05/02/18 12:40 PM
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Last week I found a photo of an unusual Sun halo. Here's a beautiful photo of a Moon halo over a stone circle in Wales.

A Moon halo occurs when high thin clouds containing millions of tiny ice crystals cover much of the sky. Each ice crystal acts like a miniature lens. In this image, the ice circle in the sky is mirrored by a stone circle on the ground. Taken just over a month ago in Pontypridd Common, Wales, UK, the central Rocking Stone survives from the last ice age, while the surrounding stones in the circles were placed much more recently -- during the 1800s.

Image Credit & Copyright: Alyn Wallace Photography
Description: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #927889 05/19/18 08:49 AM
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Two nights ago there was a conjunction of Venus and the crescent Moon. Filippo Curti (Sanderphil Urban Observatory) got this shot of the reflection of the Moon and Venus in the calm sea off Atlantic Beach at Santa Marinella near Rome, Italy. The dark side of the Moon is dimly illuminated by earthshine.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #928348 06/11/18 10:17 PM
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A sun pillar over Norway. It is absolutely fantastically gorgeous!!!
Quote
When the air is cold and the Sun is rising or setting, falling ice crystals can reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light. Ice sometimes forms flat, six-sided shaped crystals as it falls from high-level clouds. Air resistance causes these crystals to lie nearly flat much of the time as they flutter to the ground. Sunlight reflects off crystals that are properly aligned, creating the sun-sun-pillar effect. In the featured picture taken recently, a sun-pillar reflects light from a Sun setting over Fensfjorden, Norway.


Image Credit: Thorleif Rødland
Description: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #928403 06/14/18 11:35 PM
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Find out which planets are visible in the night sky. You'll see that this link is for London, England. To see what's up in your own location, type the name of your city in the "search" box.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #928578 06/26/18 01:36 PM
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Steve Cariddi's suggestions for viewing this week:

The Moon starts the week nearly full (it's officially full just after midnight on Thursday), so it is the most prominent object in the night sky most of this week.

Mercury and Venus are visible in the western sky at sunset. Venus is remarkably bright; Mercury is about 100 times dimmer, but still visible about 20° to the lower right of Venus.

Jupiter is bright in the south as night falls, providing the best telescopic view as soon as it gets dark.

Saturn is at its highest point in the south around 1:00 AM. The Moon is near it on the 27th.

Mars is best seen in the south around 3:00 AM. The Moon is near Mars on the morning of July 1st.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #928589 06/27/18 03:57 AM
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Dear Mona,

Is this the strawberry moon.(I think I've heard this because it coincides with the farmers and their strawberry harvest)

I love to look at the sky, during the summer our family frequently lays outside on chaise lounges and looks into the starlit/moonlit sky! It is a true summer highlight!

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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #928599 06/27/18 11:54 AM
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Mary, lying back and gazing at the sky sounds simply wonderful. It must be particularly good in August when the Perseid meteor shower is active.

And yes, it is the strawberry moon. It's my understanding that the names were adopted from those used by Native Americans, though other traditions also existed in Europe and elsewhere. I'm ignorant of the habits of wild strawberries, but the almanac listing says it was a good time for picking them. I think these names are connections to a natural world that is alien to most people these days.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #928621 06/28/18 02:15 PM
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I found this summer astronomy highlights graphic a bit late for June. But it shows what's up in July and August.

Viewed as a clock face centered at the bottom, early (northern) summer sky events fan out toward the left, while late summer events are projected toward the right.

Objects relatively close to Earth are illustrated, in general, as nearer to the cartoon figure with the telescope at the bottom center -- although almost everything pictured can be seen without a telescope.

As happens during any season, constellations appear the same year to year, and meteor showers occur on or near the same dates.

Highlights specific to this summer's sky include that Jupiter will be visible after sunset during June, and Venus will shine brightly in the evening sky during July and August. Saturn and Mars should be visible during much of this season's night, with Saturn appearing in the direction opposite the Sun in late June, and Mars at opposition in late July.

Finally, a total lunar eclipse should be visible to anyone who can see the Moon in late July.

Illustration Credit & Copyright: Universe2go.com
Comments: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #929233 07/30/18 12:32 PM
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Note for this week from Steve Cariddi:
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At the beginning of the week the Moon is just past full, rising about two hours after sunset. Each night it will rise about an hour later. Afer sunset, as the sky is getting dark, Venus is the first object you should see, midway up in the western sky. The next "star" visible should be Jupiter, bright in the southwestern sky. As darkness settles over the sky, Saturn becomes visible in the southeast, at about the same altitude as Jupiter. Mars, just past its opposition last week, is rising just a bit before sunset, so by 10:00 or 11:00 PM, depending on how clear of a view you have of the horizon, it should be visible in the east. By midnight or 1:00 AM, Mars is in the southeast, at about the same altitude as Saturn, which is now in the southwestern sky.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #929861 10/04/18 03:15 PM
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Eileen Claffey took this picture of the Moon and a fogbow on September 30, 2018, near Lake Wickaboag in central Massachusetts. She sent it to EarthSky, who say:
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Fogbows are rainbow's cousins, made by much the same process, but with the small water droplets inside a fog instead of larger raindrops. Because the water droplets in fog are so small, fogbows have only weak colors or are colorless.




Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 01/07/20 02:17 PM.

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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930182 12/03/18 08:21 PM
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You might see a true iridescent cloud when the Sun is nearby. The colors seem to be randomly distributed. In this picture we see an iridescent cloud with beams of light, known as sunrays, seeming to shoot out from it. Fantastic! I'd love to see one of these.

Richard Kelley posted this photo to EarthSky Facebook on November 26, 2018.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #930272 12/16/18 02:13 PM
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There's a green Christmas comet in the sky. You might catch sight of it. It's at its closest to Earth on December 16, but will be around for a bit. It's Comet 46/P (Wirtanen). It probably won't be visible without binoculars or a telescope unless you have a good dark sky. It's described as bright, but diffuse.

Here's a guide to The Christmas Comet.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932023 01/06/20 09:10 PM
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This would be something worth seeing - it's a sun pillar, photographed by Julie Francois in Albuquerque, NM USA on December 29, 2019. A sun pillar (or light pillar) is a shaft of light extending from the sun or other bright light sources. They’re caused by ice crystals drifting in Earth’s air. Wow!

[Posted in EarthSky]


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932026 01/07/20 02:11 AM
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That is a gorgeous photo. Was there a huge solar flare on the sun recently?

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Angie] #932031 01/07/20 02:18 PM
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I don't think so, Angie. The Sun has been pretty quiet of late.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932321 02/22/20 01:26 PM
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There was a nice planetary alignment and crescent Moon yesterday (February 21) morning. This photo was taken by Jenney Disimon in Sabah, North Borneo.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932324 02/22/20 01:42 PM
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Mona, this is a link from our paper about looking down from space. We had a very brief snowstorm and this is what Earth looked like

https://www.richmond.com/weather/en...68298b6-2080-560a-a2ed-335d587e83e8.html

Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Angie] #932326 02/22/20 02:02 PM
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Angie, it sounds splendid from your description, but this is what I got when a clicked on the link.

451: Unavailable due to legal reasons
We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact tdcsupport@timesdispatch.com.

Perhaps people elsewhere can see it.


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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932329 02/24/20 01:01 AM
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I forgot - privacy - in the Newspaper as if that is private. It is published material for the public review.

It was black and white and showed how the snow storm left it's mark between North Carolina and Virginia. We were just brushed with some snow. As we left our friend's home it was 41 degrees and as we headed south the temperature dropped and it began to snow more heavily. North Carolina has had more snow this year than Philadelphia, PA

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Re: Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #932331 02/24/20 02:49 PM
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EarthSky says: Watch for the Moon and Venus this week
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The moon was new yesterday. It was passing more or less between the Earth and sun for this month, moving across our daytime sky - invisibly, all day - in the sun's glare. Now the moon has moved a touch east of the sun, as seen from Earth. It'll likely be buried in sunset glare still for Asia and Australia on Monday. But Europe and Africa might see it. And the Americas have a good shot at it. Look very low in the west after sunset on Monday, higher in the west after sunset each evening after that. Also, see that bright starlike object? It's Venus!


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