Friday, July 19, 2013

0 Mt. Rainier Like You've Never Seen it Before by Darren Neupert July 2013

The Northern Lights have been making relativelyfrequent appearances over the Northwest this summer, but the green tinge captured in photographs above Mt. Rainier on the night of July 12th wasn't the aurora.
It was instead what's known as "airglow."
Unlike aurora, airglow covers the entire planet and is there all the time, caused by reactions between solar energy and certain air molecules. It's just not visible in daytime due to sunlight and is hard to spot at night from other light pollution.
But according to the Atmospheric Optics website, airglow fluctuates a bit with the 11-year solar cycle as increased solar activity can enhance it a bit. And solar activity was high last weekend when these photographers were taken.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

0 Feeling Squirrely? Don't Blame the Moon, Blame Mercury! via Astrology Cafe


Mercury RetrogadeAlthough not quite as popular as Sun sign astrology, "Mercury Retrograde" has certainly become a buzzword - or buzz phrase - these days.
What is Mercury Retrograde? Three, and sometimes four, times a year, the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky for a period of approximately 3 weeks. "Appears" is the key word here, because, technically speaking, no planet actually moves backwards in their orbits around the Sun. In fact, they don't even slow down. Retrograde-station-direct cycles are essentially illusions that result from our point of view from Earth, simply because the Earth is also orbiting the Sun at a different speed than the other planets. Mercury turns retrograde more frequently than any other planet. It can never be more than 28 degrees from the Sun, and whenever it reaches its furthest distance from the Sun, it changes direction.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

0 Alchemy for What Ails You by Fredrick Woodruff

Although the etymology of the word alchemy is multifaceted, the most
concise is Arabic — al-kimiya — meaning “The Art.”