Earth features .
by Derek Rowley
Aurora (Northern Lights)
The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, is an astronomical natural phenomenon consisting of displays of lights across the earth’s night sky, mostly visible at the highest latitudes of our planet. (archived photo)
If you think that daytime sky nature-watching is limited to clouds and birds, you might be missing out. Observing space objects in the daytime has its limitations and difficulties, but, as with all skywatching. (archived photos)
The head of the comet and the beginning of its long tail are shown – comets are icy bodies in space that release gas or dust.icy bodies in space that release gas or dust. (archived photos)
Constellation names, like the names of stars, come from a variety of sources and each has a different story and meaning to it – a group of stars forms an imaginary outline or pattern. (archived photos)
Deep Sky Objects (DSO)
DSO are celestial objects that exist outside our solar system. Three major types of deep-sky objects are nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies – celestial objects that exist outside our solar system. (archived photos)
Eclipses (Solar & Lunar)
Solar – there are four different types of solar eclipse, namely Partial, Annular, Total and Hybrid; a partial solar eclipse occurs when only part of the Sun is covered by the Moon which appears to take a “bite” out of the Sun. (archived photos)
Lunar – Lunar eclipses are more common and are visible 2 to 4 times a year from somewhere on Earth. Lunar eclipses are also visible from a much larger geographical area of Earth for as long as the Moon is risen in the sky during the time of the eclipse, anyone can witness it, regardless of location. (archived photos)
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System, with the name describing the galaxy’s appearance from Earth: a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye. (archived photos)
The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits Earth as its only natural satellite – it is the fifth-largest satellite in the Solar System. (archived photos)
The passage of one celestial body in front of another, occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer. (archived photos)
A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity – the inner, rocky planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, the outer planets are gas giants Jupiter and Saturn and ice giants Uranus and Neptune. (archived photos)
A conjunction occurs when any two astronomical objects (such as asteroids, moons, planets, and stars) appear to be close together in the sky, as observed from Earth – if two objects have the same right ascension or the same ecliptic longitude, they are considered to be in conjunction with one another. (archived photos)
The Sun is a yellow dwarf star, a hot ball of glowing gases at the centre of our solar system – its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest particles of debris in its orbit. (archived photos)
A fog bow, sometimes called a white rainbow, is a similar phenomenon to a rainbow; however, as its name suggests, it appears as a bow in fog rather than rain. (archived photos)
The Problems of Light Pollution – Any adverse effect of artificial light including sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter, decreased visibility at night skies, and energy waste. Light pollution is not only an obstruction to astronomy, but it also impacts us directly.
Noctilucent clouds (Neo-Clouds)
Neo-Clouds, Noctilucent clouds, or night shining clouds, are tenuous cloud-like phenomena in the upper atmosphere of Earth – they consist of ice crystals and are only visible during astronomical twilight. (archived photos)
An arc or circle that exhibits in concentric bands the colors of the spectrum and that is formed opposite the sun, sometimes Moon by the refraction and reflection of the sun’s rays in raindrops, spray, or mist.
A sun pillar is a vertical shaft of light extending upward or downward from the sun. Typically seen during sunrise or sunset, sun pillars form when sunlight reflects off the surfaces of falling ice crystals associated with thin, high-level clouds (like cirrostratus clouds).
Venus of Belts
An atmospheric phenomenon visible shortly before sunrise or after sunset, when a pinkish glow extending roughly +10 to +20° above the horizon surrounds the observer. (archived photos)
The state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time as regards heat, cloudiness, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, fog, snow, etc. (archived photos)
Zenith Sun Shadow
The point in the sky directly overhead. For example, when a person says that the Sun has reached its zenith, it is used to refer to the sun’s position in the sky. (archived photos)