thelerner

Eyes to the Skies

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Strong solar storm may bring chance to view northern lights to midwestern, northwestern US Wednesday night

A recent solar storm may create an opportunity to see northern lights in the United States as far south as Iowa and Nebraska on Wednesday night.

 

After a flare erupted from the sun on Dec. 28 and sparked a coronal mass ejection (CME), a view of the aurora borealis may be possible for those in the northern parts of the U.S.

"Areas along the Canadian border will have the best chance to see the northern lights," AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said.

 

However, if the solar storm proves strong enough, the dazzling display may be visible as far south as Iowa and Nebraska.

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Those in the Ohio Valley and Northeast will be out of luck regardless of whether the aurora develops or not due to widespread clouds, according to Samuhel.

 

"Clouds are expected to dissipate through the night across the Upper Midwest and northern Plains, leading to some chances to view the event," he said. "The Pacific Northwest will have the best viewing conditions due to clear skies."

 

Some interior western areas may have to contend with valley fog, obscuring views.

Along with the brilliant light display that may be visible to some, a flare of this magnitude could also have adverse effects on GPS, radio frequencies and cell phone and satellite reception.

 

 

me> I've always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis.  They're talking about tonight.  Damn, I think its cloudy here, but for those of you Northerners who have a clear view, eyes to the skies.

Edited by thelerner

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:( cloudy in Chicago yesterday, so no chance.  One day I'll drive north and north and north til I can't drive no more and see the colorful lights blazing in the sky. 

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On 12/31/2015 at 3:09 PM, Marblehead said:

I hope you are not on Hawaii when you start that journey.

I hope I am.. <unless I'm in a boat>

Edited by thelerner
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Friday's Sky Bonanza Includes Full Moon, Eclipse and Comet
By Dustin Nelson Published On 02/08/2017
 

Friday is going to be a gonzo night for stargazers. No, it's not another supermoon; it's an odd confluence of events that you won't see often. There will be a full moon (the so-called "snow" moon), a lunar eclipse, and a comet flyby on the same night. 

If you're looking up, you'll catch a penumbral lunar eclipse early in the night. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth's outer shadow, also known as the penumbra. In the outer shadow, most of the sun's light is blocked. Since it's not blocking all of it, the moon will still reflect some light, giving it a dark gray color opposed to the total blackout of a full lunar eclipse.

 

NASA has said the eclipse will peak at 7:43 p.m E.T., which has the eclipse occurring just at moonrise for most of North America. It may be seen to be shaded gray as early as 6:14 p.m. Of course, as is the case with any eclipse, the moon will be full.

 

Not too long after the eclipse, Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdus√°kov√° will make its closest approach to Earth. Though it's been visible in the sky for the last couple months using binoculars or a telescope, under clear conditions it will be visible to the naked eye as it passes just 7.4 million miles from where you stand.

 

The comet will be at its closest around 10:30 p.m. E.T. Around 3 a.m., the comet and it's blue-green glow will be visible near the constellation Hercules. It'll remain in view to telescopes until the end of the month and then not again until 2022 when it passes by once again.

 

Though, if you can't be bothered to taste fresh air, Slooh will be live-streaming the eclipse and some good views of the comet, which will give you a look through a telescope.

 

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Tonight is the full moon, also known to Indians as the Strawberry moon.  Not because of color but because for some, it was strawberry picking season.  Also called the mini-moon it appears (14%) smaller because its a bit further from the earth. 

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Posted (edited)

Neowise is here- https://www.space.com/comet-neowise-visibility-july-2020.html

 

Brightest comet in quite a while.  See it, if you can, won't be back til 8020ish. 

'When and where to look in the morning

 

As a morning object, the comet's best views will come during a three-day stretch on the mornings of July 11, 12 and 13, when it will stand 10 degrees above the northeast horizon, 80 minutes before sunrise ‚ÄĒ the beginning of nautical twilight. Your clenched fist held at arm's length measures approximately 10 degrees in width. So, on these three mornings, the head of Comet NEOWISE will appear about "one fist" up from the northeast horizon.¬†

 

 

The sky should appear reasonably dark at that time with only the light of the last quarter moon providing any interference. As the minutes tick off, the comet will be getting higher, but the dawn sky will be getting increasingly brighter as well. 

 

After July 13, NEOWISE will drop rapidly lower and swing more toward the north-northeast. By July 18, it will appear only 5 degrees above the horizon at the start of nautical twilight. And only a few mornings later its altitude will have become too low to see it at all in pre-sunrise sky. 

Evening visibility

 

But as its morning visibility diminishes, there is good news: Comet NEOWISE will become prominent in the evening sky after sunset. That will also mean a much larger audience will be able to see it during "prime-time" viewing hours instead of having to awaken during the wee hours of the early morning. 

 
 

Comet NEOWISE will be visible about 80 minutes after sunset.

Comet NEOWISE will be visible about 80 minutes after sunset. (Image credit: Joe Rao/Space.com)

The first good opportunity for evening viewing begins on July 12, when the head of the comet will stand 5 degrees above the north-northwest horizon, 80 minutes after sunset (the end of nautical twilight). By July 14 its altitude will have already doubled to 10 degrees, and by July 19 it will have doubled yet again to 20 degrees up by the end of nautical twilight. By then it will have moved to above the northwest horizon. 

 

So, we at Space.com feel that the best time to view the comet during the evening will come during the July 14-19 time frame. 

 

We also strongly recommend that observers should seek the most favorable conditions possible. Even a bright comet, like this one, can be obliterated by thin horizon clouds, haze, humid air, smoke, twilight glow and especially city lights. We especially emphasize that last factor: the farther away you get from a metropolitan area, the darker your sky and the better your view of NEOWISE. Binoculars will enhance your view. 

 

 

And more good news: No moonlight will brighten the sky, as the moon will be a waning crescent and visible only in the morning sky through July 20. On successive July evenings the comet will grow fainter, but it will be farther from the sun, setting later and visible in a darker sky. As we move into August, the comet will be very well placed for observers with small telescopes. 

Edited by thelerner
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