Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Tired

If you want to wonder about our place in the Universe, realise just how infinitesimally small us humans are, or simply go 'wow' then looking at the night sky is a good way to start.  Astronomy blows my little mind - the more I look the more I conclude that we are tiny, inconsequential and know virtually bugger all about whatever is 'out there'.

But that doesn't bother me, what really bothers me with astronomy is that it takes place at night.  For someone who finds making the morning cuppa a significant challenge after a disturbed night's sleep, astronomy hours are a problem, a big problem (it is also why I am increasingly drawn to solar observing, but that's a whole different project).   Even so, I stayed up until 2.00am last night (this morning?) watching NASA's live feed from Woleai island in Micronesia of the total solar eclipse.  It was a lovely thing to see, particularly as clouds parted just before totality and the sky stayed clear for a good while.  Below are some of my screenshots from the broadcast.  The massive prominence showing at the top is awesome, at least 10-earth-diameters in size. 






















Pretty amazing but in no way makes up for missing a huge display of Aurora Borealis at the weekend.  This lovely image from Stuart Atkinson is stolen from his Twitter feed.  It was taken at Kielder.  Clearly I'm not done yet with being more than a little sad about our astronomy break having to be cancelled.

 





 

10 comments:

  1. If the massive prominence at the top is a sun flare then maybe we can expect another aurora show by the weekend? I suppose it depends on which way the plasma stream is headed. And fairly academic an argument for those of us in the far south west!

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    1. I thought just the same thing about that prominence . . . fingers crossed!

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  2. Blooming marvellous Jayne! Apparently the aurora was visible down here too and of course I missed it (again!) ,,, I was hanging out of the window at 2am the following night gazing to the north as, according to David, it was going to be visible again ,,, not a glimmer! Doubly cruel to see photos like that taken at Kielder ,,, our day will come!!!

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    1. Thanks Jill, I am starting to think I'm just not meant to witness this for myself :-{{

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  3. the pictures from Kielder are amazing. we saw a little of the green glow here. magical. and I wished for more..

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  4. Wow, those photos are wonderful and I do believe that people saw it in northern Oz (Darwin) too, but we are too far south. We saw your borealis on TV the other night and it too was amazing. We have one occasionally, though I've only seen it once myself, a long time ago. Broken sleep is my worst enemy also. Sleep well tonight and take care.

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    1. Yes Susan, northern Oz would have seen a partial eclipse. The late finish threw me for all of the following day - sometimes I wonder if it is worth it?

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  5. Yes we missed the aurora but hope we just might catch a tail end of it this weekend! I am a night bird and struggle to get up in the morning too :)

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    1. Fingers crossed here too, but having just checked various Aurora sites and magnetometers I'm not going to get my hopes up.

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