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Galileo: Bringing Jupiter
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Two planet hunters' home page with good links to other
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of Comet Hale-Bopp as well as other comets currently visible.
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Facts & figures on all planets and most of their
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Astronomy Picture Of The Day
and the Star of Bethlehem
Borealis (northern lights) and Aurora Australis (southern lights); aurora
polaris (polar lights), is a general name for both. Both northern and southern
lights are formed the same way and at the same time in perfect symmetry.
occur when charged particles from the Sun (solar wind) collide with atoms
and molecules in our atmosphere
(atmospheric gases are disrupted by these electrically charged particles
from the Sun). Lightning
is the result of similar happenings.
flow of particles from the Sun causing the Northern and Southern Lights
is matched by an equal yet opposite flow of electrons upward. That flow
carries the return current of what essentially is a
giant circuit. This upward flow hollows out electrons in regions of
the Earth's ionosphere and produces
The black aurora
is the flip side of the Northern and Southern Lights. They are the opposite
of visible auroras. "They are a perfect mirror image. They are two opposite
sides of the exact same phenomenon," said Goran Marklund of the Alfven
Laboratory in Sweden to the American Geophysical Union, as recorded in
the journal Nature,
and The Calgary
wind has been measured at 200 to 500 miles
per second by astronauts orbiting earth. Solar wind from our Sun reaches
as far as Neptune.
Solar wind particles-(plasma)
are miniature magnets (photons
– hot ionized gas comprised
and electrons, which are
particles from the Sun)
carrying part of the Sun's magnetic
field with them as they flow from it in vast
clouds that pummel Earth's magnetic
field. Most of the time these are deflected
by the Earth's magnetic
field, but sometimes they penetrate.
These particles are funneled to open points in the Earth's magnetic field
at the north and south poles where they react with the Earth's atmospheric
creating the north and south auroras.
Jo Ann Joselyn,
senior space scientist at the Space Environment Centre, the space counterpart
to the National Weather Service, and Bruce Tsurutani, a physicist with
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, are producing a research paper about
how solar storms can affect Earth. ... Astronomy Magazine,
January, 2000, page 56. They have found that Northern Lights appear more
often when the sun is the most active, right around the peak of the solar