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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Yosemite’s Night Skies photography makes brilliant case about light pollution

WILD LANDS — A superb video with stunning images and videos of the night sky helps point out that wild lands such as national parks are rare places where people can get a great view of the stars and planets without being washed out by civilization's lights.

Enjoy this video with all its stars, moon rises, shooting stars, streaking satellites and people offering their insight on what's out there.

Photographer specializes in chasing northern lights

SKY WATCHING — If the city lights and cloudy skies have prevented you from enjoying the recent solor storms generating great shows of Northern Lights, relax, sit back and enjoy this Washington Post story and a gallery of northern lights images by a Montana native who lives in Homer, Alaska.

Dennis Anderson is one of a handful of photographers who make a living by catching the aurora borealis on film.

Be on lookout for northern lights tonight

SKY WATCHING — A big solar flare — perhaps the biggest in five years — combined with a chance for clear skies over much of the region, could offer up a rare chance to see the northern lights in the few hours before dawn on Thursday and maybe Thursday night.

Also, there' a chance your GPS unit may not perform accurately tomorrow, scientists say.

See the New York Post story.

Here is a forecasting tool that updates every 2 minutes!

Solar storms will turn on northern lights

SKYWATCHING — Tonight might be prime time, if you can swing it, to go high away from city lights and above the clouds to watch the expected light show in the northern sky.

A massive explosion on the sun's surface has triggered the largest solar radiation storm since 2005, unleashing a torrent of charged plasma particles toward Earth.

The bad news:  Could cause trouble with satellites and GPS navigation, power grids and other high-tech hardware.

The good news:  Likely will trigger displays of aurora borealis, a.k.a the northern lights.

Predicting shows of northern lights is much the same for scientists as predicting the weather, since the aurora is a result of space weather.

While this week is special, scientists expect higher than normal solar activity to persist through the year. Scientists say there's been a minimum rate of solar and aurora activity since 2007.

Northern lights info and forecasts

Find a wealth of info, links, photos and forecasts at this website maintained by the Geophysical Institute at the Unviversity of Alaska Fairbanks.

Get up early Saturday for “red” lunar eclipse

SKY WATCHING — Andy Buddngton of the Spokane Community College Science Department recommends that we get an early, glowing start tomorrow.
 
Shortly after 4:30 Saturday morning, we'll be treated to a “red” lunar eclipse.
 
As the NASA science video explains, this is the last one visible from the Pacific states until 2014.

Seasons changing: Harvest moon ushering in the equinox

SKYWATCHING — Sunsets filtered through wildfire smoke and a harvest moon looming full and huge on the horizon have made for great skywatching this week.

Fall is full in the air, with this year’s equinox creeping up on Friday, Sept. 23.

Here's a recent story on the harvest moon from the LA Times.

Read on for details on the harvest moon from eNature.