Fireballs over Atlanta 9/29. Over 1000 reported 9/27-9/28 (video)

Desert Gypsy's picture 9/29/13, Mike Hankey

Its been a busy week for the AMS as we are bombarded by fireball reports from all different parts of the country. The latest event took place over Alabama and Georgia last night September 28th 7:30 PM local time. Over 250 witnesses from Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia have reported the event so far. Below is a heat map of the witnesses who saw the event.

Atlanta Fireball - September 28th, 2013 @ 7:30 PM Local Time

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Move over Comet ISON. A new Comet Lovejoy has arrived

Desert Gypsy's picture - 9/11/13, Deborah Byrd

Comet Lovejoy's location on the sky's dome now.  It is up in the morning sky, as seen from across the Earth.  Image via

Comet Lovejoy’s location on the sky’s dome now. It is up in the morning sky, as seen from across the Earth. Image via Cumbrian Sky.

Many are anticipating the brightening of Comet ISON, which is now in Earth’s predawn sky, not far from the bright planets Jupiter and Mars, but too faint to see without telescopes and/or photographic equipment. Read more about Comet ISON here. In the meantime, on September 9, 2013, noted comet discoverer Terry Lovejoy of Australia announced another new comet, bringing his total number of comet discoveries to four. The newest Comet Lovejoy will be in the same part of the sky as Comet ISON beginning in November. What a cool photo opportunity!

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Don’t miss the moon and Venus tonight!

Desert Gypsy's picture - 9/8/13, Deborah Byrd

View larger. | Here are the moon and Venus last night - September 7 - as captured by EarthSky Facebook friend Ken Christison in North Carolina.  Thank you, Ken!  On Sunday evening - September 8 - the moon will appear much closer to Venus.  The Americas, in particular, will get a dramatically close view of the pair.

Tonight – Sunday, September 8, 2013 – there will be a very close pairing of the moon and Venus, especially as seen from the Americas. The moon and Venus will be seen from around the world, but, since the moon is moving in orbit around Earth, its distance from Venus on our sky’s dome will vary throughout that day. North and South America, and Europe, are all well placed for viewing this event. These are the brightest nighttime objects in Earth’s sky. They will be beautiful, no matter where you are on the globe.

Start looking for the moon and Venus about 30 minutes after sunset on September 8. Look west. Don’t wait too late because, especially from latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, Venus soon follows the sun below the western horizon.

Stream of Charged Particles Have Shifted Within Milky Way

Desert Gypsy's picture - Nola Taylor Redd, 9/6/13


Shifting cosmic winds suggest that our solar system lives in a surprisingly complex and dynamic part of the Milky Way galaxy, a new study reports.

Scientists examining four decades' worth of data have discovered that the interstellar gas breezing through the solar system has shifted in direction by 6 degrees, a finding that could affect how we view not only the entire galaxy but the sun itself.

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Bizarre Alignment Observed In Butterfly-Shaped Nebulae

Desert Gypsy's picture - 9/4/13

Image Caption: This mosaic shows a selection of stunning images of bipolar planetary nebulae taken by Hubble. (Upper row from left) NGC 6302, NGC 6881, NGC 5189. (Lower row from left) M2-9, Hen 3-1475, Hubble 5. Credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble Space Telescope

A planetary nebula occurs in the final stages of a star’s life when its outer layers begin to stretch out into the surrounding space. Such nebulae can create beautiful objects in the night sky, with some stretching out into an hourglass or butterfly shape. The latest research, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, has found that butterfly-shaped nebulae tend to have a bizarre alignment.

“The alignment we’re seeing for these bipolar nebulae indicates something bizarre about star systems within the central bulge,” explains Rees. “For them to line up in the way we see, the star systems that formed these nebulae would have to be rotating perpendicular to the interstellar clouds from which they formed, which is very strange.”

Cassini Sees Saturn Storm's Explosive Power

Desert Gypsy's picture

Nasa,gov - 9/3/13

Two Looks at the Turbulent Saturn Storm

A monster storm that erupted on Saturn in late 2010 - as large as any storm ever observed on the ringed planet -- has already impressed researchers with its intensity and long-lived turbulence. A new paper in the journal Icarus reveals another facet of the storm's explosive power: its ability to churn up water ice from great depths. This finding, derived from near-infrared measurements by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, is the first detection at Saturn of water ice. The water originates from deep in Saturn's atmosphere.

"The new finding from Cassini shows that Saturn can dredge up material from more than 100 miles [160 kilometers]," said Kevin Baines, a co-author of the paper who works at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "It demonstrates in a very real sense that typically demure-looking Saturn can be just as explosive or even more so than typically stormy Jupiter." Water ice, which originates from deep in the atmosphere of gas giants, doesn't appear to be lofted as high at Jupiter.

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Moon, Jupiter, Mars and star cluster before dawn September 2

Desert Gypsy's picture, 9/1/13

If you’re up at morning dawn, the two heavenly bodies that you’re most likely to see are the waning crescent moon and the planet Jupiter. After all, the moon and Jupiter rank as the brightest and second-brightest celestial objects, respectively, to light up the September 2013 morning sky.

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