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Several Earth-sized sunspots have just developed, could spur Northern Lights

A group of three very large sunspots have emerged into view as they rotate from the backside of the sun. These sunspots could be the first feature needed for Northern Lights soon.

Sunspot

The group of large sunspots shows on this NASA image in the lower left.

The sun is coming out of the sunspot minimum and the number of sunspots are increasing. The newest group of three sunspots are each at least the size of Earth.

Mike Murray, astronomer and Program Director at Delta College’s Planetarium in Bay City, MI, says the sunspots are on the side of the sun today. As the sun rotates, the sunspots will be pointing directly at Earth in an estimated five to six days, according to Murray. Once the sunspots are facing Earth, the chance for Northern Lights increases. The sunspots will point at Earth for about three to four days sometime next week.

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Rocket Booster Likely Caused Lights in Hawaii’s Night Sky | Hawaii News

HONOLULU (AP) — Reports of a cluster of blinking lights traveling across Hawaii’s weekend night sky were likely caused by a rocket booster reentering the planet’s atmosphere, scientists said.

Astronomers said there is a high probability the booster pierced Earth’s atmosphere after orbiting for 12 years, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

Spectators posted photos and videos on social media of the lights that appeared Saturday night.

The booster identified by scientists was used to launch Venezuela’s communications satellite VENESAT-1 from China in October 2008.

The booster was in a low orbit and eventually slowed and reentered the atmosphere at about 10 p.m., said Roy Gal, associate astronomer of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

An aerospace company tracked and predicted the reentry of the booster, which correlated with Saturday’s reentry window, Gal said.

Some observers thought they may have spotted Starlink satellites launched by Space

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