3-2-1-0 We Have Solar Orbiter Liftoff!

Today we have a special treat. My friend and fellow aurora hunter Melissa Kaelin covered the February 9th launch of the Solar Orbiter as a NASA Social Media Ambassador. I am delighted she agreed to share her impressions in this guest blog. If you’ve ever wanted to experience a rocket launch, Melissa will take you there.…
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Winter Hexagon, Mercurial Joy And A Moon Moment

Eight of the 25 brightest stars are gathered together in the southern sky this month. If you haven’t made their acquaintance they are Sirius, Capella, Rigel, Procyon, Aldebaran, Pollux, Castor and Betelgeuse, in order of brightness. Betelgeuse normally fits between Procyon and Aldebaran, but it’s currently experiencing a deep fade though still shining at a…
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How To Watch The Space Station Fly Across The Moon

My friend Jim sent me this photo of the International Space Station (ISS) when it crossed in front of the moon earlier this week. I’ve seen magnified photos of the ISS before but none that caught me completely off guard like this one. It looks as if the station is orbiting the moon, not the…
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February ‘Snow Moon’ Leads 2020 Supermoon Procession

Stuffing itself on sunlight, the moon has fattened from a crescent to a portly gibbous over the past week and a half. Come Saturday night (Feb. 8) it will lie directly opposite the sun in the sky and rise around the same time the sun sets. Because it faces the sun directly the moon’s entire…
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Watch The Moon Eat Eta Geminorum

The moon is hungry my friends and will happily devour any star or planet in its path. Of course, it doesn’t really eat stars, but might as well from appearances. When on celestial body covers another — when the two appear along the exact same line of sight — it’s called an occultation. The moon…
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