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WNTI.ORG Astronomy Update for July 2017

13 July 2017 Astronomy Featured

Northern Lights over St. Lawrence River

Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society, bringing you the July 2017 Astronomy Update for WNTI.ORG.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It looked like canon fire coming across the river.    After seeing this captivating apparition, I finally realized I was watching a display of the Northern Lights. It was coming across the St. Lawrence River from Canada.

These auroras are seen from the northern and southern latitudes. They appear in a variety of ways—as waves of color, beams of light or just a soft coloring of the sky.  They’re caused by a burst of electrified particles from the sun which are captured by our magnetic field.  Those particles that leak through our north and south poles interact with the atoms of our atmosphere to produce flashes of light—like a fluorescent bulb. So next time you visit the northern or southern parts of our globe, make it a point to find out about when the auroras can be viewed.

In the meantime, you can easily view our planetary apparitions.  At dusk, just look southwest, and you’ll see Jupiter brightly in Virgo.  Shift a bit to the south and Saturn is found in Ophiuchus.  Look to the west and you might see Mercury on the horizon in Leo.  When dawn comes, a very bright Venus appears toward the east in Taurus.  Mars is gone on the far side of the sun. If you can’t see the Auroras, at least look for the planets that are visible this month.

Until our next Astronomy Update –

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