Emir Francis

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Will I see the northern lights tonight?

Answers to commonly asked questions about seeing one of nature’s wonders: the aurora borealis or northern lights.<p>Spaceweather forecasters at NOAA are …

Space Weather

'The World at Night' can be brightly beautiful – but there's a dark side, too

Are the images featured in The World at Night's annual "Earth and Sky" photography contest meant to celebrate the wonders of the night sky, or draw attention to the worries about the night sky? They're meant to do both, says astrophotographer Babak Tafreshi.<p>For example, consider "Stars Over …

Sun halo over U.S. East Coast yesterday

A ring or circle of light around the sun or moon is called a halo by scientists. They’re a sign of high thin cirrus clouds drifting above our …

APOD: Kepler's Supernova Remnant in X-Rays (2013 May 15) Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/M. Burkey et al; Optical: DSS http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130515.html Explanation: What caused this mess? Some type of star exploded to create the unusually shaped nebula known as Kepler's supernova remnant, but which type? Light from the stellar explosion that created this energized cosmic cloud was first seen on planet Earth in October 1604, a mere four hundred years ago. The supernova produced a bright new star in early 17th century skies within the constellation Ophiuchus. It was studied by astronomer Johannes Kepler and his contemporaries, without the benefit of a telescope, as they searched for an explanation of the heavenly apparition. Armed with a modern understanding of stellar evolution, early 21st century astronomers continue to explore the expanding debris cloud, but can now use orbiting space telescopes to survey Kepler's supernova remnant (SNR) across the spectrum. Recent X-ray data and images of Kepler's supernova remnant taken by the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory has shown relative elemental abundances typical of a Type Ia supernova, and further indicated that the progenitor was a white dwarf star that exploded when it accreted too much material from a companion Red Giant star and went over Chandrasekhar's limit. About 13,000 light years away, Kepler's supernova represents the most recent stellar explosion seen to occur within our Milky Way galaxy. http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2013/kepler/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=130515 Starship Asterisk* • On This Day in APOD http://asterisk.apod.com/view_retro.php?date=0515

Chris Hadfield's photographs of Earth from space – in pictures

http://www.theguardian.com/science/gallery/2013/may/13/chris-hadfield-space-in-pictures<p>720<p>During his five months in space onboard the International …

Four colossal Sun flares in 48 hours

<b>The Sun has unleashed four colossal bursts of radiation in 48 hours.</b><p>On Tuesday, it released the biggest solar flare of 2013 so far, an intense burst associated with a huge eruption of particles.<p>When these eruptions reach Earth, they can interfere with satellites and communications systems on the …

Astronomy