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Because of a gigantic sunspot complex that recently appeared on the Sun - about 11 Earth diameters wide - auroras are likely tonight (Friday) through the weekend. Active Region 11520 (the new sunspot garden) is large enough to see without telescope assist. Be sure to use a filter, though - say, a #14 welder’s glass or mylar sunshield or so forth. It's visible now! Run out and see, I'll wait! If you don't have such equipment, just check out the images to the right in this post; the top one is natural-light, as one might see through my telescope using a reflective filter.

The auroras will be visible at high latitudes, possibly even at middle latitudes. Never seen one? It's like this near the poles:


Click the images to see the appropriate Sky & Telescope article.

Okay, now I'm back to the CSSF Summer program. Had to share!

Chris

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mark W. Mitchell
Jul. 14th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
Astro-Porn
Porn is sexually explicit material.
It has nothing to do with astrology.
Please do not use this term in the future.
Thank you.
mckitterick
Jul. 15th, 2012 11:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Astro-Porn
I think you're missing the point, MWM! I've been using this tag for many years, in a slangy relation to the 3rd defintion per Merriam-Webster:

the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction.

PS: "astrology" is the non-scientific, quasi-religious notion that planets and such affect our fate. "Astronomy" is the science that studies the universe.
clevermanka
Jul. 15th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Astro-Porn
Please do not use this term in the future.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )