Thursday, January 1, 2009

Last Aurora of 2008 and The Moon, Jupiter, Mercury Conjunction


First of all I like to wish you all a Happy New Year and all the best in 2009.

Just as I was going to call it an early night and head off to bed I got a call from Dr. Tony Phillips at Spaceweather Phone telling me that a Solar wind was due to hit Earth the morning of the 31st. and to expect Auroras!! It would be the last Auroras of 2008. It had been overcast that night but I looked outside just in case it had cleared, and it did. Was able to get my Photon Phix in between all the clouds we have been having lately, mind you still -30c but at least clear.


If I were to rate seeing a meteor fall from the sky a "10" I would have to give Auroras a "9", very beautiful, dancing through the night sky. Deadly charged energetic particles so energetic that not even the Sun's gravity can keep hold of them, escape the Sun to form the Solar winds. Once they arrive at Earth our protective Magnetosphere direct them away from us, some charged particles sneak into our upper atmosphere where they collide with our oxygen and nitrogen molecules, turning their deadly energy into the harmless lights we see as Auroras, paintings in the sky. The Auroras got their name from Galileo Galilei, he named them after the Roman Goddess of Morning.


I would have liked to have seen the Moon, Jupiter and Mercury conjunction but due to clouds wasn't able, actually the clouds broke just after the Moon set, sucks, but hey Genie got the awesome shot below, thanks Genie!


Jupiter being the top planet in this picture, Mercury below, so Genie gets another pair of Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses for submitting her image to Black holes, congratulations again Genie.

I was emailed by Find Schools Online letting me know I had made their top 100 list of Space and Astronomy Blogs, which is kind of cool, there are some really good blogs/sites that you might want to visit, nice thing is they are all together, you don't have to search around the net for them, all in one place.

I'll leave you now with a short clip I put together of the Aurora, 55 frames over a real time of 10 minutes. Also don't forget the Quadrantids Meteor Shower this Friday/ Saturday, peaking between 2 am and 6 am Saturday morning. Look to the NE under the handle of the Big Dipper around 11:00 pm Friday.

76 comments:

Daisy said...

So beautiful! What a great way to end the year. Happy New Year to you.

Cashmere said...

Very beautiful... Thanks for the video.. Happy New Year! May we have another year of beautiful Astro happenings! ;)

Susanne49 said...

Congratulations Bob, to be in the top 100 of interesting blogs!!!! And your blog deserve that very well!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!
Susanne

Sue's Daily Photography

Roger said...

I'm sure that is just light freezing in the sky lol! Beautiful photography Bob!! Happy New Year to you and yours and all the best in '09!

Livingsword said...

Happy New Year to you and yours Bob….

I can’t believe it! You have way less snow than us!!!!! (And I’m not just talking about the gentle flakes falling on your blog)

“Photon Phix”!!!!!! I love it!

Auroras are wonderful and your photos do a very nice job if capturing their amazing beauty…They almost seem unreal…

Great shot Genie!!!!! I mean it really is very nice…I like the way the blog snow flies thru it…

Congrats on the fame of Astro Bob’s blog gaining in much deserved public acclaim…

Swubird said...

Bob:

Those are spectacular images. When we were in Vegas last month the sky was overcast as we pulled into the city. Right over the MGM the sky was completely green just like your auroras. It was obviously caused buy the lights on top of the MGM, but it sure looked eerie. It was like a green cloud that just sort of floated above the city. I couldn't get a shot because I was driving, but I'll always remember that mental picture.

I hope you have a great year. I'll be looking forward to all of your heavenly posts.

Happy stargazing.

Will said...

I guess one of the rewards of living in a place with winters like yours is the chance to see the Auroras! I would love to see them, but I don't think I would want to pay for that opportunity by living far enough north.

That is great recognition of your blog. Actually you are #4 in the "Astronomy Enthusiasts" category. Well deserved!

Happy New Year to you too, Bob!

kml said...

Wow - once again, your Auroras are simply amazing - and I loved watching them move in the clip.

Congrats on making the blog list - your hard work and knowledge deserves this recognition!

On my blog - the photo is of a model rocket blasting off. Didn't quite make space, but it went high enough to go out of sight and give us a devil of a time trying to find it.

take care,
Kathy

Technorino said...

Wow that looks nice :D

Happy new year :D

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Daisy, all the best to you in 2009.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Cashmere, there is a lot going on next year in the sky, hopefully we get some clear skies.

Happy New Year and all the best in 2009 for you.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Susanne, glad to be on the list.

All the best to you in 2009!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Roger, no doubt, it was cold enough to freeze light, all the best to you in 2009 as well Roger.\m/\m/

Genie said...

Thanks Bob!!!!!!! You're the best!

Congratulations on the nod from Find Schools Online!

The aurora photos are amazing. What a fantastic way to end 2008. WOW!

I added one of the aurora photos and the aurora video clip to StumbleUpon. Hope it brings you many more adoring fans.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks livingsword, you may have had more snow, but we have the corner on cold,lol. Actually we had a dump overnight, drifted as high as my knees.

All the best to you and CG in 2009.

Stephanie Barr said...

You know I had no idea that auroras were green. You think I'd know a thing like that. Or do they have different colors depending on different factors?

Clearly, I have a great deal to learn.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, wow that would have been eerie cool, watching the Auroras dance in the night is kind of like that too.

swubird all the best to you and yours in 2009.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Will,lol, I know what you mean about the Auroras, awesome that I am able to see them, but not one of my main prerequisites when looking for a place to live, if that were the case I'd be at the North Pole,lol.

Will, a great 2009 to you and yours.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, I thought it might have been a rocket, cool hobby.

All the best in 2009 to you and yours Kathy!!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Technorino, all the best to you and yours in 2009 as well!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks so much Genie, thanks for the Stumble. I was so happy to get that picture from you, if I couldn't take the pic, it's cool you could, between the 2 of us,we will try to capture every event,lol.

The Auroras were great nice break from the clouds. Genie all the best to you in 2009.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Stephanie, actually they come in all colors depending on where the collisions happen and what atoms are hit by the solar protons/electrons,

Oxygen gives off the popular green color at a 60 mile collision, red if it is struck at 200 miles, I'm assuming because of the different pressures in the atmosphere, and the make up and proportions of the atmosphere at different heights is the reason for the different colors being excited from the same atoms. \m/\m/

Lol,hope this makes some sense, just know they come in all colors but mostly red and green but I have imaged them with purple as well, usually right on the outer edges of the Aurora.

All the best in 2009!!\m/\m/

Laane said...

Oh, what beautiful! **sigh**

Happy new year!!!

May many dreams come true.

Ivanhoe said...

Hi Bob:
Thank you for stopping by. Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2009 as well :o)
BTW: I've heard somewhere that UN chose 2009 as year of Astronomy (logy). There is a lot of stuff happening to the sun this year & there's suppose to be a lot of meteorite showers, too :o)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Laane, all the best to your and yours in 2009 too.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ivanhoe, you are right, 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, lots of stuff going on, thanks for reminding me, I was going to put up a widget, have a great 2009.\m/\m/

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob…

We have received almost a meter of snow over the past 30 days I’ll special deliver the snow to you in exchange for the cold…keep in mind that many years we get no snow at all, many of our side roads are completely impassable even with SUV’s! However it is getting a bit better…

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, that sucks, no I don't want to trade, with the cold comes clear skies, with the snow come clouds, plus my snow budget is already maxing out at the mall, no more snow for me,lol.\m/\m/

Livingsword said...

LOL Actually the only bonus of the snow is that we are getting more sun than usual! None of our Nov-March constant rain and overcast!

Our very large local mall has a HUGE parking lot but the non-shopping piles of snow are parked all over the place! LOL

Bob Johnson said...

Lol livingsword, rain sucks more for clouds generally. I try to keep the piles in far away corners of the parking lot, DSPAs, designated snow pile areas,lol.\m/\m/

Anna said...

\m/ hey Bob congrats for making to the top 100 top blogs, that is excellent milestone.

Happy New Year to you too!

Wow so you got Dr. Tony Phillips calling you directly, that is so cool!

What a beautiful Auroras, I got none and I live in Aurora, lol. Okay I had one small one, I think was green too.

Bob I have to ask you something. I saw this strange phenomena and I don't know what it is. We have seen it couple of times. When we were driving home once in the evening and we saw all over the place these light beams shooting from the ground, and they were everywhere. We think it had to do something with the air composition that day to scatter light like that, but we still don't know what it is. May be you know....

Again Bob, these are excellent images, and what a nice post to begin 2009.

Anna :)

Livingsword said...

Bob…

“designated snow pile areas” is that like a designated driver? Designated spas? (You have spas in your mall parking lot in Saskatchewan in winter! You guys ARE crazy!) When I was a kid we used to play “king of the hill” on the giant snow piles at lunch…hmmm I suppose these days it would be “gender unspecific royal person that lives in another country”…?

Genie said...

Oh, dear, Bob--like I could even come close to filling in the blanks?! But you're a doll to suggest it. Maybe in another 10 or 20 years, with much study of the sky and astrophotography equipment, I could come somewhat close to what you do.

Peter said...

Hi Bob! With all that's wrong with this world, it's certainly a pleasure to look into the stars and dream what it will be like to travel amongst them one day, be it in body or spirit.

Hoping you had a great Christmas and all the best for 2009.

Take Care,
Peter

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Anna, well Dr. Tony's pre-recorded voice at least,lol.


As far as the lights go, a couple things both due to atmospherics, just strong pole lights and un-properly shielded pointing into space and being dispersed into a wide beam, looks cool though I have gotten some pics, and actually I have seen lights bounce into the air like a beam just off car headlights, couple times scared me at 2am, didn't see the car till after the dispersed beam,lol.\m/\m/

A great 2009 to you and yours Anna!!

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, livingsword, hey I kick kids off thouse snow piles all the time,mind you I used to play on them all the time too when I was a kid, but with the liability and all have to kick them off.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Genie, never sell yourself short. If you had the proper equipment with your want to do good you'd be taking pics like me right away. It's all about being at the right place at the right time and fooling around like crazy with the adjustments on the fly.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Peter, that is exactly what I do. All the best in 2009!!\m/\m/

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Bob!!! The aurora was a grand finish to 2008!!! WOOT!!! How breathtaking and beautiful. What a glowing night sky!!!


Congrats on on your being named one of the top 100!!! You are number one in my book. :D

Happy New Year, dear friend. You are the greatest teacher I know. :D

Happy 2009 to you and your lovely family!!!

Cheers! JJ

Texas Travelers said...

Congrats on the top 100 list.
Well deserved,
Troy

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, it was cool to have a clear sky as well as the Auroras let me tell you.

All the best to you and yours in 2009 JJ.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Troy all the best to you and Martha in 2009.\m/\m/

Roger said...

Bob Lend me your ear I have a award for you (Click Here)

Majase Cyc said...

Hi Bob and Happy 2009 to you and yours!

Congrats on making the Top 100 List, and well deserved it is indeed.

Great aurora time-lapse video as well.

Which reminds me--I'm not sure if you and your visitors here have seen this video I'm linking below, or maybe you have even mentioned here and I missed it, but it is truly stunning.

I think it's something you'll really enjoy:
http://vimeo.com/1250929?pg=embed&sec=1250929&hd=1

Oh, and thanks again for the 3D shades, I'm putting them to great (albeit unconventional) use! lol

Jean Levert Hood said...

Bob, these auroras are awesome. Seeing something like this is a dream of mine.

Wonderful on the listing in Find Schools Online!

Isn't Genie great! And, wow, she will now own 2 pair of those Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses. She's becoming quite the celebrity. I hope she will still go out shooting with me, a mere mortal who doesn't own Hanna Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D glasses.

As always, I love your blog.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, great Roger, thanks so much for the award, I have to do a post on it and some others I have been given, thanks again!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Majase Cyc, all the best to you and yours too!!

That video link was AWESOME!! so beautiful, thanks.

Lol, I can only imagine the use you are putting the 3D glasses too, let me know by email,lol, again have a great 2009.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Jean, hey you too can own a pair just send in any celestial pic, I'll post it and you get a free pair of Hanna Montana/ Miley Cyrus 3D glasses.All the best in 2009!!\m/\m/

simplyjacy said...

nice post Bob! i have always wanted to see an Aurora. but i have to travel further north at least at the Boundary Waters, MN to be able to catch a glimpse of this magnificence.

your pictures are very beautiful and you have captured the beauty of nature perfectly!

AngelBaby said...

Spectacular, just fabulous. Wow! I just love the Aurora's they are so beautiful. Your video was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing them. I finally found out what they are and why, thank you.

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks simplyjacy, I guess one of the benefits of living in the colder northern climates is we get to see them once in a while, thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks AngelBay, glad you learned a little about them, all the best in 2009.\m/\m/

your "Health Assistant" said...

Happy Healthy New Year to you and your family!!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks your "Health Assistant" all the best to you and yours in 2009 as well.\m/\m/

Ruth said...

Stunning auroras, Bob, and you enjoy the 2-5am gig. :)

Big congratulations on the top 100 of space and astronomy blogs. Woohoo!

Happy New Year, may you have all the cloudless nights in 2009 that you can handle.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Ruth, I have another 2-5 am gig this morning, sucks its -39 c with out the wind, with the wind -51c, weather warning out right now.\m/\m/

costume jewelry said...

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Final_Transit said...

So even the nature celebrated the arrival of 2009 :) The video is lovely. Happy new year to you too Bob !

Don said...

Beautiful images. Love the green flash! What makes it green?

The auroras are super. I have seen them once or twice, but never like this. These look like the ones in the Polar Express!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Priyank, yes they did, they were beautiful, All the best in 2009!!\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Don. Because of the higher frequencies of the blues and greens, the green is able to curve higher and stay longer above the horizon then the reds therefore we see the green a second or so longer after the reds have fallen along the curvature of the Earth, just before the green flash it is red, red falls off leaving the green. Hope that makes a little sense. I love the Polar Express, I remember the Aurora in the show too.\m/\m/

Ruth said...

Take care then. I drove my sister to the airport this morning on a sheet of ice for the first 10 miles. Ended up in on the shoulder across the road - thankfully no deer, cars or trees close. Phew! Now it's warmish and sloppy.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, hey Ruth I almost ran into a couple Deers on the way to take these pics.\m/\m/

Anna said...

Thanks Bob, wow that must have been cool experience, lol. Anna :)

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