Ride The Roller Coaster To Solar Minimum

Most of us live on a 24-hour cycle beginning with waking up, going about our jobs or other activities and then sleeping before waking up again. We call it the circadian rhythm from the Latin circa dia or “about a day.” The sun has a rhythm too, called the 11-year solar cycle. During that time, we…
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Trump Addresses Night Sky, Mysteries Of Space At Inauguration

This blog is anything but political, but my ears perked up when I heard our new president mention the “mysteries of space” and “night sky” during today’s inaugural address. Here are snips of the speech for context: “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space …” “And…
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Tiny Daphnis Sends Ripples Through Saturn’s Rings In New Closeup Photo

Come on now. That’s just a mind-blowing photo. We’re looking at Saturn’s moon, Daphnis, taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft as it made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn’s rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the moon ever! The little guy is just 5 miles (8 km)…
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Asteroid Vesta At Its Best — Here’s How To See It

Lately, I’ve talked about how to find planets, but there are lots of other planet-like bodies in the night sky — the asteroids. As of March 2016, we know of 1.3 million of them, 750,000 of which have calculated orbits. The name asteroid comes from “aster,” Latin for star, and it perfectly describes their star-like…
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Start Your Day With Mercury

These late sunrises make for fun surprises. The other morning I got up around 6:30 to look for the planet Mercury, now making a pleasing appearance in the southeastern sky at dawn. After a short drive to a location with a wide open horizon facing that direction, I watched the little planet climb above a…
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