Comet 41P/T-G-K Tangles With The Great Bear

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak should become bright enough this coming week to see in 10×50 binoculars as it hurries across Ursa Major the Great Bear. 41P returns to Earth’s vicinity every 5.4 years. Some years it plays out that the comet is particularly close to Earth. 2017 is one of them. On March 31-April 1, the comet…
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Armageddon Declassified — Terrifying Images From The Birth Of The Atomic Age

We’ve been playing with fire for a long time. Back in the 1950s and early 1960s the U.S. routinely conducted above ground, underground and atmospheric testing of nuclear and thermonuclear devices during the height of the Cold War against the then Soviet Union. By 1959, radioactive debris from the tests were found in wheat and…
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Black Hole Keeps White Dwarf On A Tight Leash

Imagine living on a planet that whipped around its host sun once every 28 minutes. The sun would rise at say, 6 a.m., set about 14 minutes later and then rise again after another 14 minutes. A day would make you dizzy! Astronomers have recently found evidence for a star that whips around a black…
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Star Trek Makes Its Mark On Pluto’s Moon Charon

Evocative, isn’t it? That’s Pluto’s largest moon Charon against a star field, illuminated by the faint light reflected from nearby Pluto. The right edge of the moon just catches the sunlight from the side and shows as a bright crescent. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was already about 100,000 miles (150,000 km) beyond Pluto when the…
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Lunar Triangle / Departing Venus Runs Into Mercury

After a busy weekend watching moonrises and lunar halos a guy needs a break. Today we catch our breath, astronomically speaking, so we can prepare for an exciting moon-star-planet conjunction and the return of Mercury on Tuesday. We’re now on UUT, universally unwanted time, better known as daylight saving time.  Studies have shown that DST…
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