This comet has been visible to telescope and binocular users throughout 2014. Its closest approach to Earth will happen on October 31 at a distance of 142 million kilometers. It’s expected to reach its peak magnitude of ~6 in mid-October 2014. Then it may be visible to experienced skywatchers using only their eyes, but the comet will remain much easier to detect using binoculars or a telescope.
Our friend Eileen Claffey captured this fogbow over a field in Massachusetts yesterday (September 17, 2014). She said it appeared as the fog was lifting over a field. Fogbows and rainbows are made from the same configuration of sunlight and moisture. That is, you see a fogbow in the direction opposite the sun. But fogbows are caused by the small droplets inside a fog or cloud rather than the larger raindrops that cause rainbows.
Polar mesospheric clouds are wispy and elusive. They form 80 to 100 kilometers (50 to 60 miles) above the ground – far higher in the atmosphere than most ordinary clouds. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), flying at 350 kilometers (220 miles) up, are ideally placed to observe them.
A magnitude-6.0 earthquake struck beneath Seward Glacier in northwestern Canada on July 17, 2014, and, by a lucky coincidence, NASA scientists, engineers, and pilots were gearing up for near-daily flights over the area while developing processes for interpreting data from ICESat-2, a satellite scheduled for launch in 2017. They were able to capture the image above of a landslide, apparently caused by the earthquake, which had obscured remnants of an older slide.
Two powerful storms on the sun this week released solar particles that began striking Earth’s atmosphere early Friday morning (September 12, 2014). As a result, many at northerly latitudes – and some at latitudes like those of the northern U.S. – saw beautiful displays of the northern lights last night. These are a few of our favorites. Thanks to all who posted on EarthSky’s Facebook page.
In case you missed it! Photos of the 2014 Harvest Moon from EarthSky friends.
Reflections of the moon and the Milky way in a pond atop Independence Pass in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
Singapore photographer Justin Ng recently returned from Mount Bromo, an active volcano in Indonesia. This image shows a campfire built by the jockey – the keeper of horses used in the ascent – in order to keep his kids warm.
Be sure to click into the larger view of this photo. It’s the extensive cloud of stars at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, over Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Ferdinand Arroyo, from Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe (Astronomical Society of the Caribbean) took this beautiful photo.
Did you see the moon near the planets Saturn and Mars Sunday evening? Thanks to all EarthSky friends who captured and shared these beautiful images.