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JUPITER & THE MOON: Tomorrow morning, Monday, Feb. 20th, if you happen to be awake at the crack of dawn, look out the window. Jupiter and the Moon are having a pretty close encounter. The pair are so bright you can see them even after the sky turns morning blue: sky map.
FALSE AURORAS: The sun is quiet and auroras are scarce. The next best thing: false auroras. Michael Gavan photographed some yesterday in Kalamazoo, Michigan:
Also known as light pillars, false auroras are caused by ice crystals in the air, which intercept urban lights and spread them into colorful columns. "These were the most dynamic and beautiful light pillars I have ever seen!" says Gavan. Conditions in Kalamazoo were ideal for these pillars. "The temperature was around 5o F, and the air was filled with very fine diamond dust ice crystals."
Is it cold where you live? Watch out for false auroras.
DOUBLE RAINBOW: Whenever you see one rainbow, look for another, because rainbows always come in pairs. Witness this Feb. 2nd photo from Dan Bush of McFall, Missouri:
"I used a fisheye lens to capture the entire rainbow, which appeared very close to the photographer at one point," says Bush.
The bright inner rainbow is the primary bow, caused by sunbeams reflecting once inside falling raindrops. It's the bow you usually see. The less-bright outer rainbow is the secondary bow, caused by sunbeams reflecting twice inside raindrops. Secondary bows often go unnoticed, because they are usually very faint, but they are always there.