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Comet C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) on September 19

C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) as captured on September 19, 2014 by Sylvain Trépanier?.

C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) as captured on September 19, 2014 by Sylvain Trépanier.

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.

Fogbow over Massachusetts

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 over the Ukraine

Image credit: NASA

This sunset shot shows PMCs as a thin bright line, far above the lowest weather layer of the atmosphere (the troposphere). Image credit: NASA

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.

Earthquake-induced landslide at Seward Glacier

NASA Earth Observatory images created by Jesse Allen, using digital photographs provided by Kelly Brunt, MABEL campaign.

Snow from a large avalanche cascaded down the mountainside and covered an older slide. NASA Earth Observatory images via Jesse Allen and Kelly Brunt, MABEL campaign.

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.

Favorite photos of September 12 aurora

Star trails and the September 12 aurora, as captured by Mike Lewinski in Maine.

Star trails and the September 12 aurora, as captured by Mike Lewinski in Maine.

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.

Shine on Harvest Moon!

Harvest moon in Japan. Photo credit: Segu Chang Zhang

Super Harvest Moon 2014 as seen in Japan, by Segu Chang Zhang.

In case you missed it! Photos of the 2014 Harvest Moon from EarthSky friends.

Milky Way and moonset

Photo credit: Lars Leber Photography

Photo credit: Lars Leber Photography

Reflections of the moon and the Milky way in a pond atop Independence Pass in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

Campfire under Milky Way at Mount Bromo

Campfire under the Milky Way galaxy by Justin Ng.

View larger at justinngphoto.com. | Campfire under the Milky Way galaxy by Justin Ng.

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.

Milky Way over Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico

Milky Way over Arecibo, by Ferdinand Arroyo.

View larger. | Milky Way over Arecibo, by Ferdinand Arroyo.

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.

Fav photos of August 31 moon, Saturn and Mars

Vegastar Carpentier in France used a telescope to capture this view of Saturn (above) and the moon.

Vegastar Carpentier in France used a telescope to capture this view of Saturn (above) and the moon.

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.