Catalina Nov27 HKato_FEA

Comet Catalina By Moonlight

Just a quick report on Comet Catalina. Moonlight or not, a few of us strode out for a look this morning (Nov. 28). I got up at 5 a.m. and drove to a good eastern horizon spot, set up my scope, a 15-inch (37-cm) reflector, and aimed it the star Lambda in Virgo just above the…
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Dunes Mars Nov27 Wow_FEA

Mars Rover Sees The Most Amazing Dark Dunes

This week Mars Curiosity made history by becoming the first rover to wheel across active sand dunes. Rovers have rolled up and over drifted sand and sand ripples but never an active dune field. Curiosity encountered the strikingly dark “Bagnold Dunes” on its way up the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. an 18,000-foot-high (5.5 km) peak at the…
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Catalina Jager Nov24_FEA

Comet Catalina Comes Up All Tails / Full Frost Moon / Aldebaran Cover-up

It’s been an exciting week with the return of Comet Catalina to the morning sky. I got my first frozen fingers of the winter season standing along the shore of Lake Superior adjusting camera settings trying to get a photo of the comet. As I write this, the cold is forgotten. What remains is the memory of…
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Algol model bigger

Demon Star Has Its Eye On You Tonight

Better look over your shoulder. Algol, the Demon Star, will be giving you a clever wink tonight. What’s it up to, you wonder? This evening (Nov. 24th) across North American time zones, the star will perform one its famous fades and recoveries. Algol’s an eclipsing binary star 93 light years from Earth in the constellation of…
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Pluto Day 6.4daysFEA

6.4 Days In The Life Of Pluto

Gotta get that project turned in by Friday? No worries. You’ve got plenty of time — on Pluto anyway. One day on the dwarf planet is 6.4 Earth days long. With only a thin atmosphere between you and the chill vacuum of space, the sun would appear as a point of light 1,000 times dimmer than we see…
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