Archive for July, 2013

July 27 Star Party at Muleshoe

A fun afternoon and night out at the refuge with friends at a public star party and photo expedition. The clouds didn’t cooperate, but we stayed late and had a blast anyway I arrived in late afternoon and caught this shot of windmills dotting the plains: We had a nice group of people go on […]

Magnetic waves may heat the corona

Growing evidence suggests that magnetic waves are the reason our star’s corona is so hot.  A close-up, false-color look at the Sun shows the large, dark polar coronal hole astronomers studied in order to determine what heats our star’s corona. White lines show the position of the Hinode spacecraft’s spectrometer slits, used to observe gas […]

The Weakest Solar Cycle in 100 Years

Scientists are struggling to explain the Sun’s bizarre recent behavior. Is it a fluke, or a sign of a deeper trend? The Sun is currently at the peak of Cycle 24, the weakest cycle in 100 years. D. Hathaway / NASA / MSFC The Sun is acting weird. It typically puts on a pageant of […]

New Supernova in M74

Supernova Erupts in M74 An exploding star in the spiral galaxy Messier 74 in Pisces, discovered last Thursday, had brightened to about magnitude 12.6 as of Tuesday morning. And it may not have reached its peak yet.Chalk up another one for the astronomers of the Lick Observatory Supernova Search. Using a robotic telescope atop Mount Hamilton […]