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    Lunar Eclipse Before Easter

    This is a photo taken in the early morning hours of April 15, 2014 showing the total eclipse of the full moon that marks the start of the Easter season for 2014. This is the first of four total lunar eclipses that will be visible during the next two years. In a rare occurrence, a total lunar eclipse will also happen just before Easter in April of 2015. Photo credit: Dr. Michael D. Joner

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    An Active Sun in 2014

    This is an image of the Sun secured on January 7, 2014. Solar observers witnessed an active Sun all during the 2013 year and the increased activity has continued into 2014. This picture shows a large sunspot group designated as AR 1944. This is one of the largest and most complex groups of the current solar cycle. It is made up of dozens of individual disturbances each with an intricate magnetic field. This group has an observed size that is greater in extent than the planet Jupiter. This makes this group more than ten times the size of the Earth. Photo credit and processing: Dr. Michael D. Joner

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    The Hottest Spot on Campus

    The laser intensity at the center of this laser focus is an astounding billion gigawatts (a billion billion watts) per square centimeter. This easily makes it most intense spot on campus. The laser pulse which creates the spot lasts only 30 femtoseconds, and is used to rip electrons from helium and study the radiation they emit in this intense field.

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    Earth, Sun, and Venus

    The small black spot projected on the Sun just above the foreground clouds in Provo is caused by the planet Venus as it transits for the last time this century. The transits of Venus come in pairs separated by eight years that only occur after a period of 105 or 122 years without a transit visible from the Earth. If you missed this event, the next opportunity will be in December of 2117. Finding the transit of an Earth sized planet like Venus across a stellar photosphere is the mission of the Kepler spacecraft as it continues the search for extrasolar planets. The difficulty of this mission is apparent when you note the tiny fraction of the Sun's light that is blocked by the planet Venus.

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    Southern Utah Ring of Fire

    This is a mosaic of solar eclipse images secured on May 20, 2012 by Dr. Michael D. Joner. The individual observations were made between 6:59 and 8:06pm MDT a couple of miles northwest of Kanarraville, Utah on the center line of this annular solar eclipse. The entire solar photosphere was not blocked by the passage of the Moon for this eclipse. The result was an annular eclipse due to the fact that the Moon was close to apogee and thus not large enough in the sky to cover the entire Sun. Areas of southern Utah enjoyed perfect weather in addition to being ideally located to view the eclipse well before sunset.

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Recently Published Research

Gus Hart et al. recently published an article titled "Comprehensive Search for New Phases and Compounds in Binary Alloy Systems Based on Platinum-Group Metals, Using a Computational First-Principles Approach" in Physical Review X. Click on the image above to read it.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Apollo 11 Landing Site Panorama: Have you seen a panorama from another world lately? Assembled from high-resolution scans of the original film frames, this one sweeps across the magnificent desolation of the Apollo 11 landing site on the Moon's Sea of Tranquility....

This photograph and Description come from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day web site.

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