Experts once thought that moonbows--that
is, rainbows formed in moonlight--were only visible around the time
of a bright full Moon. "Amateur astronomer Martin McKenna has
just broken that rule
by photographing a moonbow only 7 days before the new moon,"
announces atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "The challenge
now is to image one even closer to a new moon." Readers, can
you do it? "Who knows," says Cowley, "I might even
offer a prize of an umbrella!" Submit your images here.
STUNNING SKY SHOW:
When the sun goes down tonight, step outside
and look south. Beaming through the twilight is one of the prettiest
things you'll ever see--a tight three-way conjunction of Venus,
Jupiter and the crescent Moon: sky
Photographer Ehsan Sanaei Ardakani sends this picture taken just
hours ago from Ardakan, Iran:
"It was one the most spectacular conjunctions ever,"
he says "I took the picture using a Nikon
D70s set at 200 ASA for 20s."
more images: from
Becky Ramotowski of Tijeras, New Mexico; from
Ramiz Qureshi of Karachi, Pakistan; from
Mustafa Erol of Antalya, Turkey; from
Hossein Haeri-Ardakani of Ardakan, Yazd, Iran; from
Milan Gucic of Belgrade, Serbia; from
Premjith Narayanan of the Kingdom of Bahrain; from
Mike Salway of Central Coast, NSW Australia; from
Sigurd Lasa of Cebu, Philippines; from
Kim Cheol-Joong of Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, South Korea; from
David Maidment of Sohar, Oman; from
Mania Rahban of Kerman, Iran; from
Trevor Ward of Perth Western Australia; from
Cindy Safina of Tsimshatsui, Hong Kong; from
Raghu Kalra of New Delhi; from
Shahrin of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; from
Tunç Tezel of Denizli, Turkey; from
Paul Haese of Blackwood, South Australia; from
Chunkin Man of Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong; from
Nigel Dudley of Oakford, Western Australia; from
James Kevin Ty of Manila, the Philippines; from
Simon Chan of Perth, Western Australia; from
David Hough of Warners Bay NSW Australia; from
Dennis Mammana of Borrego Springs, California; from
Luc Bellavance of Rimouski, Quebec; from
Stephen O'Meara of Volcano, Hawaii;
Last night in far-northern Nunavik, Quebec, the clouds parted to
reveal a green and purple ribbon of light winding among the stars.
Sylvain Serre grabbed his Canon
30D and snapped this picture:
Canon EOS 30D, 10mm, f/3.5, ISO 800, 20 sec
"November has been a good month for auroras," says Serre.
"We've had five clear nights and I saw the Northern Lights
every time." Serre's home in far-northern Quebec lies under
oval, a glowing ring around the North Pole where auroras are
almost constantly active. Last night's display was encouraged by
crack in Earth's magnetosphere briefly opening and allowing
solar wind to pour in. It was a minor display by the standards of
Nunavik--"not very beautiful," deadpans Serre, "but
we enjoyed it anyway."
A better show is in the offing. A solar wind stream is heading
for Earth and it could spark geomagnetic storms when it arrives
on Dec. 3rd or 4th. High-latitude sky watchers
should be alert for auroras.
2008 Aurora Gallery
[Previous Novembers: 2007,