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After a little break (of 25 years or so) Bob King is celebrating his retirement with a return to The North 103.3's airwaves!After almost 40 years with the Duluth News Tribune, Bob is now retired. But scratch a print guy and you'll find a radio guy; King and then-UMD Planetarium Director Glen Langhorst hosted Startalk on KUMD for several years in the early '90s.Listen for Astro Bob every other Tuesday at 8am on Northland Morning.

Astro Bob's Backyard Astronomy: Hey, Steve!

A strip of green and purple lights extending across a starry sky
Bob King
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STEVE from Sunday night around 10 p.m. covering 180° from one end of the sky to the other. The faint band in the photo is the Milky Way.

The aurora has been in rare form as of late. Bob King has noted eight displays in the past three weeks - this coming after years of very little activity. However, a nearly-full moon and a hole in the sun's corona no longer pointing directly at earth will cause the aurora to go quiet for a while.

When the aurora returns you’ll want your attention directed north, but don’t forget to look overhead… for STEVE. This newly defined phenomenon has similarities to the aurora but is a separate occurrence. "Auroras involve particles from the sun," says Bob King. "With STEVE, it's an extremely hot flow of gas way high up above the aurora. It has a similar appearance, it has these fingery rays."

STEVE and the aurora might be away for the next month or so, but the harvest moon will be here this Saturday. Saturn and Jupiter will be teaming up with moon for a clear sight of all three. "Jupiter is super bright all by itself," says King, "then you put a full moon next to it and - wow! Bam-o!"

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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