Astronomy Picture of the Day – Volcano and Aurora in Iceland

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Volcano and Aurora in Iceland  

Image Credit & Copyright: Sigurdur H. Stefnisson

 

 Explanation: Sometimes both heaven and Earth erupt.   In  Iceland in 1991, the  volcano Hekla erupted at the same time that  auroras were visible overhead.   Hekla, one of the most  famous volcanoes in the world, has  erupted at least 20 times over the   past millennium,  sometimes causing  great destruction.   The last eruption occurred only twelve years ago but caused only minor  damage.   The green auroral band occurred fortuitously about 100 kilometers above the erupting  lava.   Is Earth the Solar System’s only planet with both auroras and volcanos?

NASA Photo of the Day for February 3rd

 Panorama of the East Coast

Panorama of the East Coast

This Jan. 29 panorama of much of the East Coast, photographed by one of the Expedition 30 crew members aboard the International Space Station, provides a look generally northeastward: Philadelphia-New York City-Boston corridor (bottom-center); western Lake Ontario shoreline with Toronto (left edge); Montreal (near center). An optical illusion in the photo makes the atmospheric limb and light activity from Aurora Borealis appear “intertwined.”

Image Credit: NASA

Astronomy Picture of the Day for Jan. 28th

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 January 28
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

Planet Aurora Borealis
Image Credit & Copyright: Göran Strand 

Explanation: Illuminated by an eerie greenish light, this remarkable little planet is covered with ice and snow and ringed by tall pine trees. Of course, this little planet is actually planet Earth, and the surrounding stars are above the horizon near Östersund, Sweden. The pale greenish illumination is from a curtain of shimmering Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights. The display was triggered when a giant solar coronal mass ejection (CME) rocked planet Earth’s magnetosphere on January 24th and produced a strong geomagnetic storm. Northern hemisphere skygazers will also recognize the familiar orientation of stars at the left, including the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters and the stars of Orion. Increasing solar activity has caused recent auroral displays to be wide spread, including Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights, at high southern latitudes.

Precious Pet of the Day for Jan. 11th

Aurora, the Pet of the Day
Name: Aurora
Age: Unknown
Gender: Female
Kind: Long-tailed Tamandua
Home: Oakridge, Oregon, USA
This is Aurora Jane and she’s a Long-tailed Tamandua (anteater), the Latin name is Tamandua tetradactyla longicaudata.

Aurora is not your typical pet because she was rescued. Her full history is not known. Her age is unknown, but she may be four to five years old. One night I got a call from a friend who runs a rescue and she said there was a tamandua in desperate need of a home. She was taking in several other animals so was short on room and knew we would take good care of the tamandua, as I own one already, and had another until he passed away. At first I said only if it was a male but after discussing it with the family we agreed to take it no matter the gender.

And so we were off to pick up what turned out to be a very pregnant female. We had a peek at her there but she was not going to let us move her from her box to the crate so we took her home that way. When we got her home we had to move her from the box to her cage because the box was too big for the door. I’ve never seen a tamandua hyperventilate before. We thought she might die of fright. She was in surprisingly good health though aside from being thin.

Then I saw how big her belly was and declared her pregnant as a cow. She calmed down and soon was exploring my room, though not that same night. She was desperate for a friend but Pua, my first anteater, wanted nothing to do with her and would chase her off. Aurora would camp out as close as Pua would let her but she wasn’t winning her over. Aurora got so desperate for a friend she was grooming my geriatric cat. She would let me touch her but didn’t like it and would only take treats of cheese from me.

Less than two weeks after arrival Aurora had her baby. Then Pua got curious but Aurora would chase her off like the momma bear she is. Aurora has been a great momma. Eventually, when baby was bigger, Pua won Aurora over. It took lots of grooming by Pua. Pua did lots of grooming while Aurora pretended to ignore her. Now they are best friends. They play together and snuggle together but when it’s time for bed Pua still chooses to sleep alone in her washer while mother and Daughter sleep together in their fabric house.

Pua almost seems to think Aurora is her new mommy, as she loves to try and ride her like the babies ride their moms. Though, now that she is big, Aurora sometimes tries to ride her own baby too. One time Baby was riding Aurora and Pua hopped onto the big baby but the triple decker anteater did not go very far. Aurora is so gentle and sweet she puts up with a lot from both her babies, adopted and natural.

To Aurora, she is no pet. I am but her lowly servant and must bring her fresh cold food. She won’t eat unless her food is ice cold. She still growls at me if I pick her up but she is very sweet and has never tried to hurt me. She is just not shy of telling you when she doesn’t like something. She’s not the brightest anteater. She kept panicking that her baby was lost but baby was merely clinging to her rump, like they are supposed to do. With some help from me she was able to figure that out after a while.

Aurora may not be a true, snuggle and cuddle pet, but is happy here with her baby and best friend so I am happy with her. In fact, I love her a great deal. Despite her not returning my feelings Aurora has stolen a special place in my heart. She’s a sweet gentle soul.

Aurora, the Pet of the Day

Deity of the Day for June 27 is Arianrhod (Welsh)

Deity of the Day

Arianrhod (Welsh)
“Silver Wheel”; “High fruitful Mother”; Goddess of the Stars; Goddess of the Sky; Goddess of Reincarnation; Full Moon Goddess. Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess in Wales. Honoured at the Full Moon. Beauty, fertility, reincarnation. Her palace was called Caer Arianrhod (Aurora Borealis). Keeper of the circling Silver Wheel of Stars, a symbol of time and karma. This wheel was also known as the Oar Wheel, a ship that carried dead warriors to the Moon-land (Emania).