A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 411 rocket launched the Solar Orbiter spacecraft to an interplanetary trajectory to the Sun at 11:03 p.m. on 9 February 2020 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Click for more info & launch photos about this joint European Space Agency-NASA mission to study the Sun.
The planet Mercury transited across the face of the Sun over a 5.5 hour period as seen from Earth on 11 November 2019. According to NASA, transits of Mercury occur only about 13 times per century. The views below were taken during the first half of the transit from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Cloudy skies interfered with the first half of the transit, then rain obscured the last half. The smoky appearance of the Sun in some of the images is […]
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launched NASA’s Parker Solar Probe on 12 August 2018 at 3:31 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Parker Solar Probe is humanity’s first mission to the sun. After launch, it will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere – the corona – closer to the surface than any human-made object has ever gone. While facing brutal heat and radiation, the mission will reveal fundamental science behind what […]
Technical problems plagued the 11 August 2018 liftoff of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket poised to send NASA’s Parker Solar Probe towards its rendezvous with the Sun from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Launch attempts at 3:53 a.m. and 4:28 a.m. both ran into snags that could not be fixed before the launch window closed at 4:38 a.m. on a rather dewy morning scrubbing the launch for the day. The launch team […]
Views of the solar eclipse of 21 August 2017 as seen from the pollinator garden at Audubon House at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area. While totality swept across the continental United States, thrilling millions, down low on peninsular Florida the Moon only eked out a partial eclipse. While totality may have eluded us, this example of heavenly bodies moving stately through their paths in the cosmic clockwork was spectacular in its own right. The Moon made first contact with the […]
As seen from Florida — it is all about perspective after all — the planet Mercury could be seen moving across the face of the Sun on 9 May 2016. Florida was lucky enough to be positioned to see the entire event, which lasted for more than seven hours. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, having the shortest “year” of all the planets in the Solar System. Other interesting info from NASA states “Mercury’s day is 176 Earth […]
Last Friday our local newspaper featured a story about the giant sunspot, one of the largest in recorded Sun watching, that had rotated back into view after being out of sight on the far side of the Sun for a couple of weeks. The Sun rotates on its axis like the Earth but because it is a ball of plasma different parts rotate at different speeds. The average rotation is about 25 days so with most sunspots lasting from hours […]