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RED JR IN PERIL? Jupiter's young red spot, Red Jr., is about to have an uncomfortably-close encounter with the oldest and biggest storm in the solar system--the Great Red Spot itself. Red Jr. won't be destroyed, but it could change color as a result of the encounter. Get the full story from Science@NASA.
ACTIVE SUN: Sunspot group 892 is growing and now poses a threat for M-class solar flares. Philippe Vercoutter of Leper, Belgium, photographed the sprawling active region yesterday:
Meanwhile, far from this impressive spot, a flame-shaped prominence has leaped into view and is dancing along the limb of the sun: image. So this is solar minimum? Apparently, any time is a good time to watch the sun.
more images: from Pascal Paquereau of Fontenay-le-Comte, Vendée, France; from Roger G. Williams of Kalamazoo, Michigan; from Francisco A. Rodríguez Ramírez on the Canary Islands;
DOUBLE FLARE: Sky watchers who've witnessed an Iridium flare rarely forget the experience. Sunlight hits a flat surface on one of the Iridium satellites and--wow!--it looks like a supernova.
Make that two supernovas: On June 5th, Laurent Laveder of Bretagne, France, spotted a pair of Iridium flares in quick succession:
The two satellites were Iridium 7 and Iridium 51, passing overhead only 2 minutes and 30 seconds apart. With a bit of judo photography, Laveder managed to capture both flares in the same image. A larger version of the image also shows Saturn, Mars and the beautifully moonlit Odet River: labeled, unlabeled.
Would you like to see an Iridium flare? Visit Heaven's Above for local predictions.