Science & Technology Feed

MARS APPEARS BIGGER AND BRIGHTER IN JULY SKY

Mars is approaching Earth for a 15-year close encounter on July 27. The Red Planet is now so bright that it is experiencing forms of atmospheric optics normally reserved for objects like the sun and the moon. Recently, an astronomer in Sweden watching Mars witnessed a rare green flash. Visit Spaceweather.com for a video of the phenomenon and more information about the Martian brightening. 


FLIGHT ATTENDANTS' RADIATION RISKS

On the heels of a new study showing that flight attendants have an elevated risk of cancer compared to the general population, Spaceweather.com and the students of "Earth to Sky Calculus" recently boarded a plane to New Zealand carrying an array of cosmic ray sensors. During their 13-hour flight across the South Pacific, the team detected secondary cosmic rays in the passenger compartment almost 40 times stronger than on the ground below. Their "haul" of radiation included a significant number of neutrons captured in portable bubble chambers. Read Spaceweather.com for the full story.


Chinese Rocket Streaks Across Western Sky

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The night of February 23-24, observers across the western half of North America witnessed a spectacular cluster of bright lights in the sky. It was the re-entry and disintegration of a Chinese rocket body. Coincidentally, a geomagnetic storm was in progress at the time and more than one photographer caught the rocket's debris cutting across curtains of Northern Lights. Visit spaceweather.com for photos and more information.