In Pictures: Spectacular Northern Lights

Stargazers were delighted from the recent spectacular sky shows as the Northern Lights had been supercharged by a solar storm.

The northern lights, supercharged by a recent solar storm, dance above Naimakka, Finland, in this shot snapped on Sept. 4, 2012, by Ole Salomonsen.

The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, occurs when energy particles from the sun interact with the earth’s magnetic field. Recently, the Aurora Borealis had been supercharged by a solar storm. It was the strongest solar storm in six years!

I’ve never seen the Northern Lights before and I really hope that one day I will get to see it…

Here are some pictures of the spectacular Aurora:

p/s: Click the pictures for a larger image

The aurora borealis is seen over the town of Hyvinkaa in southern Finland October 31, 2003. The aurora is very visible at the moment as a result of a second huge magnetic solar storm hitting the Earth on Thursday. REUTERS/ LEHTIKUVA / Pekka Sakki
In this photo taken Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, the aurora borealis, or northern lights, light up the sky above the village of Ersfjordbotn, near Tromso, northern Norway.
The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, northern Norway, late Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. (AP Photo/Scanpix Norway, Rune Stoltz Bertinussen) NORWAY OUT
The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, are seen near the city of Tromsoe, northern Norway, late Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Stargazers were out in force in northern Europe on Tuesday, hoping to be awed by a spectacular showing of northern lights after the most powerful solar storm in six years. (AP Photo/Scanpix Norway, Rune Stoltz Bertinussen) NORWAY OUT
An Aurora Borealis spins above the Talkeetna Range and a hay field on Farm Loop Road near Palmer, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 29, 2008. The center of the circular corona, usually near Earth’s north pole sometimes fluctuates further south and can be seen from a lower latitude as in this instance. (AP Photo/Bob Martinson)

The Transit of Venus!

The Transit of Venus is finally here! This rare solar event happens in pairs eight years apart which are separated from each other by 105 or 121 years. The last transit was in 2004 and the next will not happen until 2117. To look at the Transit of Venus, we need to use either a pair of binoculars or a telescope and a solar filter (since we cannot look at the sun directly with our naked eyes). Unfortunately, I can’t look at the Transit of Venus because I do not have any solar filters.

Here are some pictures of the transit of Venus:

Clouds partially obscure the sun during the transit of Venus, seen from Maryland in the US, on June 5. The transit began shortly after 2200 GMT Tuesday in parts of North America, Central America and the northern part of South America, and was visible, with magnification, as a small black dot on the solar surface. (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)
Handout image courtesy of NASA shows the planet Venus at the start of its transit of the Sun, June 5, 2012. One of the rarest astronomical events occurs on Tuesday and Wednesday when Venus passes directly between the sun and Earth, a transit that won’t occur again until 2117. REUTERS/NASA/AIA/Solar Dynamics Observatory/Handout
Handout image courtesy of NASA shows the planet Venus at the start of its transit of the Sun, June 5, 2012. One of the rarest astronomical events occurs on Tuesday and Wednesday when Venus passes directly between the sun and Earth, a transit that won’t occur again until 2117.
A combination picture shows the planet Venus as it transits across the face of the sun as seen from the Greenwich Observatory on June 8, 2004 in London. The rare astronomical event last occurred in 1882, while the next transit is due in 2012.
First ContactCredit: NASA / SDOThe Solar Dynamics Observatory caught Venus at first contact with the Sun during the start of its transit.
A bird flies during a transit of Venus, lower left, observed in Wakkanai, a town at the northernmost tip of Japan on Tuesday, June 8, 2004. A transit takes place when Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. (AP Photo / Kyodo News)

Annular Solar Eclipse (21 May 2012)

This morning, there was an annular solar eclipse accross Asia. The solar eclipse will also be visible at North America.

An annular solar eclipse seen from Tokyo, Japan, on May 21. Millions turned their eyes to the sky on both sides of the Pacific to gaze excitedly as a solar eclipse created a “ring of fire” at dawn in Asia and crept towards a darkening western United States. (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro Nogi)
An annular solar eclipse appears during a break in clouds over Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, May 21, 2012. The annular eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges, was visible to wide areas across China, Japan and elsewhere in the region before moving across the Pacific to be seen in parts of the western United States. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
The moon passes between the sun and the earth during an annular solar eclipse as seen at a rooftop of Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo May 21, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event on Sunday – an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN – Tags: ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)
An annular solar eclipse is seen in the sky over Yokohama near Tokyo Monday, May 21, 2012. The annular solar eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges, was visible to wide areas across the continent Monday morning. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
An annular solar eclipse is seen in the sky over Yokohama near Tokyo Monday, May 21, 2012. The annular solar eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges, was visible to wide areas across the continent Monday morning. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

A Total Lunar Eclipse

On the 16th of June 2011, there was a total lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind the earth hence blocking the sun’s rays from shinning ontothe surface of the moon.

At 5.45 a.m., I went out to look at the eclipse. I looked at the place where the moon was supposed to be. The sky was very cloudy. Not a star was spotted.

However, I spotted a faint glow of light which was most probably the moon. I waited for the clouds to clear. It was only around 6.05 a.m. when I could really see the moon but of course, the eclipse was no longer so visible. Still, the moon was beautifully glowing like a golden ball in the cloudy sky.

The moon at 6:05 a.m. However the moon looks much beautiful in real life...

After waiting until 6.20am, I spotted a planet which I think is most probably either Saturn or Venus. Then I spotted a few stars after the clouds floated away. I went in around 6.40 am and looked on the internet for a picture of the eclipse at the peak when the moon turns reddish-orange.

Anyway there is going to be another total lunar eclipse this year on the 10th day of December and I really hope that I can see the moon when it turns reddish-orange. The last time that I saw the moon when it turns reddish-orange was when I was still a little girl.

Total Lunar Eclipse Coming!

On the 16th June, 2011, there will be a total lunar eclipse from 1:25 am. until 7:01 am. The National Space Agency (ANGKASA) and the National mosque will be organizing a Total Lunar Eclipse Observation Program at the Main Entrance of the National Mosque from 1.00 am. until 7.00 am. All are invited to observe the phenomena through a few telescopes that will be setup during the event! You can also bring your own telescope in this program.

Here is the program’s agenda:

1:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m:    Total Lunar Eclipse Observation
                                           Jupiter, Mars and Venus Observation
                                           Eclipse Talk
                                           Quiz    
3:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m:    Solat Sunat Gerhana Berjemaah          
7:00 a.m:                          Dismiss


Super Full Moon!

There’s suppose to be a  super “perigee moon” last night (19th of March 2011). The moon will look gigantic! Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon’s orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon’s orbit. 

The super "perigee moon" and the normal moon. (This picture was taken from the NASA website).

We wanted to look at the super “perigee moon” last night but unfortunately.. it was too cloudy and it was even raining. So my father told us that if we can wake up very early, perhaps we’ll make it to see the big moon (but ofcourse the moon it won’t look as beautiful and as gigantic). The best time to look at the moon is when the sun is setting and the moon is rising.

So I woke up this morning — very early and my father and I went out to look at the super “perigee moon”. I went out and we saw the moon. It did looked very big, sharp and so bright! Then my father told me “The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view.” Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the moon, but never mind, I still did make it to see the biggest moon in almost 20 years — and it did looked beautiful and it really satisfied me…

Yesterday’s Solar Eclipse

There was a solar eclipse yesterday. I live in Malaysia so I was hoping to see a partial solar eclipse. My father said that if you live in Malaysia, it is best to see it if you are in Langkawi. My little brother, Ahmad Ali keeps on asking my mother to go to Langkawi but we didn’t went there. We search for the sun to look at the solar eclipse. We wanted using a mirror to see the reflection of the Solar Eclipse on the wall as we can’t look at the Sun directly with naked eyes. click here to learn ways to look at the Sun safely. We used a bowl of water to see the solar eclipse before. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy. We can’t even see the Sun. But I hope you did see the Solar Eclipse.

Here’s some facts about solar eclipse:

  • A partial solar eclipse is when the moon covers only a part of the sun.
  • An annular solar eclipse is when the moon blocks the whole sun and the sunlight is blocked so, it’ll be very dark.

Did you see the solar eclipse yesterday?

Here’s some pictures of partial and annular solar eclipse.  Note: The pictures are not the pictures of yesterday’s solar eclipse:

Partial Solar Eclipse
Annular Solar Eclipse
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