Bad Astronomy's Latest Posts
The European Space Agency partnered with Platige Image to create this video, and it's stunning. Stunning. Make it full screen, and watch. Well, well. Not what you expected, was it? That was magnificent, and it shows in video form just what I feel every time we send a new probe into the black. We didn't make these worlds, but we will explore them.
Yesterday was the last solar eclipse the US will see until August 2017. This was a partial eclipse, so the Sun wasn’t completely blocked by the Moon, but it was still a lot of fun. Judging by my Facebook and Twitter feeds, a lot of folks watched this eclipse and took pictures. I was out on my porch taking shots, too – well over a hundred, though only a few came out. Some people had far better circumstances than I did, though. I asked for them to send me pictures, and I got a lot! […]
First off, let’s get this straight: If you use Twitter, you should be following space station astronaut Reid Wiseman. He posts amazing photos all the time, and your life will be the better for it. For example, on Sept. 28, while orbiting over the Sahara Desert, he took this stunning photo: If that doesn’t take your breath away, then please, give me a moment to explain what you’re seeing. The sky is dominated by the glow of the Milky Way, the combined might of billions of […]
Just a quick update: Sure enough, as predicted, the freakishly huge sunspot AR 2192 blew out a powerful X-class flare today around 14:00 UTC. The picture above shows the view from the Solar Dynamics Observatory; in the far ultraviolet it’s very sensitive to solar activity. Note the Earth for scale there, in case you need the Universe to crush your feeling of self-importance under its heel. Flares are massive explosions on the Sun associated with sunspots. You can read about them in detail […]
Right now, a truly ginormous sunspot is turning its baleful eye toward Earth. The spot, called Active Region 2192, is a bit hard to wrap your brain around: Its dark core is easily big enough to swallow the Earth whole without it even coming close to touching the sides, and the whole region is several times larger than that, easily more than 100,000 kilometers across. It’s the biggest sunspot we’ve seen this solar cycle (bigger than one I reported on in January that was also […]
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