This was the first sunset observed in color by Curiosity. The color has been calibrated and white-balanced to remove camera artifacts. Mastcam sees color much the way the human eye does,  although it's a little less sensitive to blue. The Sun's disk itself appears pink because all the cooler colors have been scattered away, similar to why the Sun on Earth appears orange or red when near the horizon. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Stargazing On Mars

We’re stuck with Earth for now when it comes to stargazing. And despite the plague of light pollution, it’s still a pretty good planet for looking up. But thanks to planetarium-style software, we can easily jaunt off to Mars and get an inkling of what the night sky has to offer on a different planet.…
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These photos of the Full Strawberry Moon were taken last night over a period of about 5 minutes. If you look carefully, you can see lots of distortions around the the moon's circumference. There's a very noticeable flattering at 11 o'clock in the leftmost frame. Credit: Bob King

How The Air We Breathe Warps And Distorts The Moon

Many of you saw the full moon rise around sunset last night. I watched it from a place called Hawk Ridge where Lake Superior and the distant Wisconsin shoreline make a perfect setting for watching just about anything rise. A few others made the drive to be there and faced east in anticipation. Just after…
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Moonrise over Lake Superior from Duluth, MInn. Click the image to find when the Full Strawberry Moon rises for your town on the solstice on Monday (June 20). Credit: Bob King

Wow — First Day Of Summer And A Full Moon Too!

Stealthy summer has been advancing this way since December 22. That date marked the winter solstice or first day of winter, when the sun reached its lowest point in the sky in the northern hemisphere. Monday June 20th it will reach its highest point in the sky, officially marking the start of summer. Meteorological summer may have…
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2016 HO3

Earth Has A New Little Buddy, Quasi-Satellite 2016 HO3

And you thought the moon was Earth’s only companion. Now we know of another, but unlike the moon, this one orbits the sun but sticks close to us. Astronomers using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope on Mt. Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii, spotted a new asteroid on April 27 this year. Named 2016 HO3, its size has yet to be…
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Noctilucent_Clouds_Ireen Trummer Wikimedia FEA

Hunting Down Summer’s Elusive Noctilucent Clouds

Every time June rolls around a little light goes off in my head reminding me to look for noctilucent clouds. Noctilucent or night-shining clouds appear in the summer months — June and July are best — very low in the northern sky from mid-twilight until the onset of true darkness. They’re fragile-looking, wispy things that glow an…
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