Observing Alert — Space Station Marathon Underway!

Astronauts conducted an emergency spacewalk earlier today to replace a failed computer that controlled the solar power system, radiators and other crucial equipment on the International Space Station (ISS). They had been using a backup, so everything’s thumps up now. I’ve read it’s hard work working in repairs outside the station, but the views are second…
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See Venus And The Crescent Moon Tomorrow At Dawn

Tomorrow morning, you can see what I consider the prettiest pairing of celestial objects: the crescent moon and Venus. They’re the two brightest objects in the night sky, and when seen together, they always make a beautiful sight. I would get out of bed for this, but I know better. Rain is forecast throughout the…
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Juno Delivers Again On Perijove 5 With Closeups Of Jupiter’s Turbulent Clouds

Take a virtual stroll through the gallery today. They’re all photos returned from NASA’s Juno probe’s fifth close flyby of Jupiter on Thursday, May 18 at 9 p.m. CDT. At the time of perijove — the point in Juno’s orbit when it’s closest to the planet’s center — the spacecraft skimmed just 2,200 miles (3,500…
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Aurora Out Tonight May 19-20

Well, it finally made it here. The forecast aurora didn’t arrive at all the predicted times, but it did show tonight. Such a capricious creature. I noticed the light around 10:15 p.m. (CDT) this evening — a faint glow low in the northern sky below the W of Cassiopeia — so I got in my…
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Quasars, Primeval Sound Waves Help Astronomers Make Largest Map Of The Universe Yet

Astronomers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) have created the first map of the large-scale structure of the universe based entirely on the positions of quasars. A quasar, certainly one of the coolest words in the astronomical lexicon, looks like an incredibly bright point of light in the center of a remote galaxy. Often,…
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