August Brings The Return Of Manoominike-Giizis, The Ricing Moon

Wild rice is called manoomin or the “good berry” by the Native American Ojibwe people who live in northern Minnesota. When it ripens in August and September members of the local tribe head out into the rice beds in canoes and use cedar sticks called knockers to harvest the grains. While one person guides the…
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Jupiter And Saturn Gather ‘Round The Big, Bright Moon Tonight

Maybe you saw the moon, Saturn and Jupiter splayed across the southern sky last night. Tonight they’ll make an even tidier package. Watch for the three to gather into a compact triangle that will surely catch your eye. The waxing gibbous moon passes just 3° from Jupiter and 6° from Saturn. You might be able…
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Perseverance Rover Heads To Mars!

I missed seeing the Mars launch this morning, but I have a really good excuse. I was looking at Mars in my telescope. I got up at 3 a.m., grabbed an eyeful of the Red Planet and then returned to bed but woke up a half-hour too late. Not to worry. NASA pulled it off…
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Comet NEOWISE Update, Bright Planets Delight At Dawn

Two nights ago on July 26 I could still spot NEOWISE without optical aid as long as I knew where to look. I could even make out a 3° tail which increased to 6° in binoculars. Last night, under the 8-day-old moon, the comet was fainter and more difficult, and it won’t get any easier…
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Spend Your Summer Vacation On Saturn

Saturn takes nearly 30 years to circle the sun. Most us get to see it orbit twice in a lifetime. If we’re lucky and eat our spinach we might see it loop around a third or even a fourth time. Life is ridiculously short, isn’t it? Earth takes only a year to complete an orbit…
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