What’s That Bright Star At Dawn?

Several people have asked me in recent days what that bright “star” is shining near the sun at dawn. It’s Venus, brightest of the planets. Venus was in inferior conjunction with the sun on March 25, the date it wrapped up its evening sky run. During inferior conjunction, a planet passes between the Earth and sun…
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Fresh Look At A Martian ‘Hole-in-One’

A new photo taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captures the landing platform the rover Opportunity left behind in Eagle Crater more than 13 years and 27 miles (44 km) ago, the distance the rover has traveled since landing on Jan. 25, 2004.  The long-lived rover arrived bundled in an airbag-cushioned lander that bounced and…
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Earth Peeps Out From Saturn’s Rings

You may not have seen it unless you were out very late last night, but the aurora did come around. It flared into a G2 moderate storm a few hours later than predicted. Looking back at the rhythmic expansion and contraction of the auroral oval, 3 a.m. CDT would have been the perfect to be out.…
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Super Aurora Friday Night, Stronger Storms Predicted For Saturday Night

I didn’t expect much aurora Friday night based on the forecast. Maybe a low, green arc at most. But no, the sky put on an incredible show that continues even now into the wee hours of Saturday. I first saw a faint, glowing haze low in the northeastern sky around 10 p.m. CDT. The camera revealed…
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Take A Lyrid Meteor Shower Tonight / Astronomy Day!

Tomorrow morning (April 22), the annual Lyrid meteor shower reaches its peak! This medium-strength stream typically delivers about 10-20 meteors per hour from a point in the sky near the bright star Vega. We’ve been showerless since the Quadrantids in early January, and the Lyrids arrive at a most welcome time of year. The warmer weather will…
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