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astronomy

solar flare
An M2 class Flare from AR1777 on the Sun. (NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory)
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Sun Releases a Flare on the Solstice

At about 3 in the morning on the Summer Solstice (most amount of daylight hours of the year on Earth), the Sun popped off a little fireworks.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught a video of this M2 Class flare in the extreme ultraviolet (that's why the Sun doesn't look like our red-orange ball of fire in the photo)

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saturn
The planet Saturn will be a good viewing target this summer. (NOAO/AURA/NSF)
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See the Night Sky at UM’s Blue Mountain Observatory this Summer

The University of Montana is opening up the Blue Mountain Observatory again this summer for public observing nights.

In a news release, UM's Department of Physics and Astronomy noted that the telescope will be pointed toward planets, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies during the eight free viewing nights

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Nate McCrady
Nate McCrady. (UM Photo)
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Astronomer Wins UM Award for ‘Teaching Across the Curriculum’

If you've been to the Blue Mountain Observatory recently, you might've met Nate McCrady, a University of Montana assistant astronomy professor.

According to a UM news release, McCrady has won the first University of Montana College of Arts and Sciences Award for Teaching Across the Cucciculum

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Planck view of universe
A view of the universe by the Planck space observatory. (ESA/NASA)
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Scientists Use New Satellite to ‘Fine Tune’ Age of the Universe

The Planck space observatory was launched in 2009, and already has allowed astronomers and physicists a better view of the universe.

The European Space Agency has been deciphering the data of the cosmic microwave background to examine the leftover signs of what is called "The Big Bang," which is the prevailing theory on how the universe was formed

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Comet Pan-STARRS
A recent photo of Comet PanSTARRS from Mount Dale, Western Australia. (Astronomy Education Services/Gingin Observatory)
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A Comet Passes By and We Might Be Able to See It from Montana

As I write this, clouds are rolling in over the Bitterroot Mountains and I can only guess if we'll have clear skies at sunset March 12 and March 13.

Those are the two best times to catch a glimpse of a comet that has been visible from the southern hemisphere of planet (Australia, for instance

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Jupiter and Europa
YouTube
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Scientists Say Life Is Possible on Jupiter’s Europa Moon

Scientists believe that the key to discovering extraterrestrial life could lie deep in the festering, underground oceans of Jupiter’s ice-covered moon Europa. New research suggests that if the salt water ocean beneath the surface of the frigid moon ever makes it's way to the surface, creating an intergalactic petri dish capable of producing a life-promoting environment.

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Earth and asteroid
Detail from an NASA animation of the event. (NASA)
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Best Video So Far of the Passing Asteroid DA14

The asteroid 2012 DA14 sped by Earth Friday, about 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time.

It was hard to see, but Daniel Lopez's telescope caught it as zipped through the starfield. It is featured at one of my favorite websites - Astronomy Picture of the Day

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asteroid moving toward Earth
NASA
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This Giant Asteroid Is Barely Going to Miss Earth on Friday

Seventeen-thousand miles might not sound particularly close at first listen, but when it comes to a gigantic rock the size of half a football field, it's a bit scarier.

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Solar storm
NASA, Getty Images
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Fierce Space Storms Predicted to Cause Worldwide Hysteria … and Disrupt Social Networks

The technological world could soon be brought to its knees by a series of pseudo-apocalyptic space storms that are predicted to sever the heads of the world’s communication centers, satellites, and public transportation systems.

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Ankylosaurus
YouTube
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Dinosaur Footprints Excavated From NASA’s Backyard

The coolest thing we've ever found behind the house was a cigar box with our dad's stash in it, so this NASA find is pretty exciting.

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