Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks On Lucky Friday The 13th

The Earth plows through a swarm of asteroid debris this week to give us one of the best meteor showers of the year — the Geminids. The shower is already active and will peak this Friday night December 13-14 when up to 120 meteors per hour might be seen from a dark, moonless sky. Unfortunately,…
Read More

Farewell Parting Of The Evening Planets

Since late last month, Venus has been playing tag with the evening planets at dusk, providing lots of pretty viewing and photographic opportunities. I hate to break the news, but that’s about to end. Venus is now nudging toward Saturn and will pass it in conjunction on Dec. 10-11. Jupiter’s hunkered down in bright twilight…
Read More

Embrace December, Month Of The Radiant Sun

Summer brings long hours of sunshine and winter takes them away. Throughout history, winter has been associated with darkness, scarcity and cold, all of which are perfectly reasonable descriptions of the season. Days are short, crops don’t grow and no one likes to freeze. Where I live the day length has dwindled to about 8½…
Read More

Hear Earth’s Eerie Magnetic Song

When a solar storm hits the Earth not only do we see aurora, but the planet hums an eerie tune. The unusual song resembles the chipping of birds mixed with a the swirling, burbling sounds of electrons dancing in magnetic fields. New data from European Space Agency’s Cluster mission reveals that the song comes from…
Read More

Is Orion Right-Side Up Or Upside-Down?

I have a friend who lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina who loves to photograph the sky day and night. Her name is Piqui Díaz, and she often shares images of clouds and night-sky scenes taken with a basic cellphone on Facebook. For many, a smartphone is our only camera, and while it produces surprisingly good…
Read More