Hubble Spots Jupiter’s Spooky Northern Lights

Acquired in March 2007, this eerie image from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys’s ultraviolet camera show glowing auroral emissions, always present in Jupiter’s polar regions. The aurora is hundreds of kilometers wide and about 250 kilometers above the planet. It is caused by electrically charged particles striking atoms in the upper atmosphere from above, the…

Solar Storm in Progress!

Yesterday’s solar flare sent out a huge cloud of charged solar particles our way, and this afternoon it impacted our magnetosphere… sparking a brilliant display of aurorae in northern skies such as those above the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko, Sweden.

Earth From Orbit – in HD!

Watch this! Videographer Michael König assembled several time-lapse videos taken from the crew aboard the ISS into one long continuous video, and cleaned up the footage and added music as well. Really beautiful work on an already stunning series of videos! Needless to say this has gone the rounds on the ‘net today.

The World Keeps Spinnin’ Round

Just… just watch it: Wow. Now that’s an interesting view! Looking north as the ISS passed southeast over North America on the night of October 18, we get a really great perspective on our planet as a globe spinning in space! Which, of course, it is. Not to mention an awesome view of the aurora…

Monday Night Lights: October Aurorae Surprise Skywatchers

Powerful geomagnetic activity created colorful aurorae that delighted skywatchers around the world on the night of Monday, October 24. The photo above was taken by LITD fan Bob Trembley from his location in Chesterfield, Michigan with his Canon EOS Rebel XS. “I can NOT believe I got these shots!” Bob writes on his Facebook page….

A Splash of Sun

A large solar flare erupted from the Sun on September 7, 2011 and resulted in a coronal mass ejection (CME) and impressive display of magnetic activity, seen here in a video made from data from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory’s AIA 304 imaging assembly. Spanning the course of about three hours over the 7th and 8th…

Shocking News About Saturn’s Moon

Scientists have uncovered a shocking surprise about Saturn’s ice-spewing satellite Enceladus: the little 318-mile-wide moon creates a loop of electrically-charged particles that run from its north and south poles all the way up and over to Saturn’s north and south poles, forming a giant electron beam connecting the gas planet and its icy moon. Where the…

In The Land of the Northern Lights

Can’t see the video below? Click here. After six months and 50,000 still images, photographer and video artist Ole Christian Salomonsen presents us with this masterpiece video of the stunning aurora borealis shimmering in the cold night skies over Tromsø, Norway. “A goal for me has been to try to preserve the real-time speed of…

Haunting Beauty

Can’t see the video below? Click here. Congrats to Tor Even Mathisen for making the Astronomy Picture of the Day today with his beautiful time-lapse video of the aurora borealis illuminating the night sky over Tromsø, Norway! I first came across this video last week on Bad Astronomy, it’s a hauntingly beautiful presentation of the…

Auroral Arrhythmia

Just like Earth, Saturn has its own versions of northern (and southern) lights illuminating high-altitude rings around its polar latitudes. Understandably much larger and more powerful than our planet’s auroras, they are nevertheless caused by the same thing: energetic particles streaming out from the sun get caught in Saturn’s magnetic field and are funneled toward…