Moon Dogs

29 Dec 2017

The first full moon of 2018 is a supermoon. The extra brightness on January 1st and 2nd is expected to cause side effects - such as moon dogs. These are rainbow coloured splashes of light to the left and right of the moon created by the light bending actions of ice crystals in high cirrus clouds (see http://spaceweather.com 28th December 2017) ....

               ... the image to the left was taken by Haiko Ulbricht (courtesy of the space weather web site).

Meanwhile, Comet Panstarrs is rapidly becoming one of the most interesting comets of recent years. See the video at http://spaceweather.com ... December 28th. On multiple occasions since November it appears to have been tearing apart from its nucleus which coincided with activity in the comet jets. Is Panstarrs the elusive electric comet we have been told about?

Is Panstarrs experiencing magnetic storms as it reacts to the solar wind? Magnetic storms in comet tails have been observed before - on Comet Encke in 2007 for example.