Winter Got You Down Already? Sample Spring And A Lovely Conjunction At Dawn

November nights are long, long, long. You can start the evening with the Summer Triangle, catch wintery Orion at midnight and by dawn it’s already spring! Celestially speaking anyway. Here at 47 degrees north latitude in Duluth, Minn. night takes up the lion’s share of the day with nearly 15 hours of the dark stuff…
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Rosetta Captures Spectacular Photos Of Philae Drifting Above Comet

Just amazing! And a little sad, too. It’s Philae coming in for its first landing attempt on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. You’ll recall the lander touched down without the use of its reverse thruster or the harpoons to fix it to the surface. Given the near zero-G gravity at the comet, Philae immediately rebounded to the tune…
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Lively Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks Tomorrow, Tuesday

Watch out for flammable comet dust the next few nights. ‘Tis the season of the Leonids. This annual meteor shower, which originates from dust dribbled by comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle, peaks tomorrow and Tuesday mornings November 17-18. Every 33 years, when the comet swings into the inner solar system, Leonid numbers swell into the hundreds if not…
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Sun-planet Trio / Sunburned On Jupiter / Giant Sunspot Returns

It’s happening right now over our heads. Hidden in the solar glare, Venus and Saturn are gathered around the solar hearth today and will be for the next few days. Venus is slowly creeping away from the Sun into evening twilight; Saturn will be in conjunction with the Sun on November 18th and then enter…
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Philae, Now Idle, Needs Kiss Of Sunlight To Awake

Contact with the Philae lander was lost at 6:36 p.m. (CST) this evening November 14th. Without sunlight to juice up its solar panels and recharge the battery, the craft will remain in “idle mode” – maybe for a long time. All its instruments and most systems on board have been shut down. “Prior to falling…
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