Catalina Jose Chambo Oct1_2015S_FEA

Here Comes Comet Catalina – A Viewing Guide

A new comet graces the morning sky! New for northern observers anyway. After parading around this summer for skywatchers down under, Comet Catalina passed perihelion (closest approach to the sun) on Nov. 15th and emerged into the glow of dawn for observers in both hemispheres. I tried to see it this morning but was outdone by a…
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converted PNM file

Contemplating Titan’s Smelly Belly Button

I can’t help it. Titan’s monster cloud looks like a belly button, an outie to be exact. What perfect streamlined form. This wonderful feature, detected by scientists using photos from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during its periodic close flybys of the Saturnian moon, resides in Titan’s low- to mid-stratosphere in a stable region above the troposphere, the moon’s active…
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Uranus, Earth and moon compared. Uranus has an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium with clouds of ammonia and methane. It's the methane that gives the planet its characteristic blue color. Credit: NASA

Uranus? You Betcha!

Not many people pay attention to the 7th planet. Sure, sure we have lots of fun with its name, but have you have stepped out at night to see it with your own eyes? Several nights ago under a dark sky, I could faintly see Uranus just by looking up at the right spot in…
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Asteroid collision GriseldisFEA

Asteroid Griseldis Grows A Tail!

Many if not all the meteorites found on Earth came from collisions between asteroids. Asteroids with diameters of around 12 miles (20 km) suffer a strike from another body once every 10 million years on average. If the crackup happens at high speed, the asteroid shatters to pieces with rocks and dust blasted into space to form…
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Leonids 1833 woodcutS_Fea

Meteor Allure! Leonid Shower Peaks Nov. 17-18

Ah, November. What better time to ease into a reclining chair, look up and enjoy a few flashing meteors. As long as you remember to get up the hour before dawn and dress warmly! The annual Leonid meteor shower will deliver 10-15 meteors an hour when it peaks this coming Tuesday and Wednesday mornings (Nov. 17-18)…
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