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227 Stars Get The Recognition They Deserve

Stars are nothing if not patient. On Nov. 24, 2016, after a delay of several thousand years, 227 stars were finally cataloged with their formal names You may not have known this, but our familiar stellar friends Betelgeuse, Arcturus and Polaris weren’t made official as in “International Astronomical Union official” until its Working Group on…
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Credit: NASA/ESA/L.Sromovsky

Visit Uranus — The Blue Planet 1.8 Billion Miles From Home

Uranus, the 7th planet, reached opposition, its closest point to Earth this year, more than a month ago. A few amateur astronomers like to drop by to spy the planet’s pale blue disk — best appreciated at magnifications of 100x and up — or seek its two brightest moons, Titania and Oberon, faint pinpricks of light within…
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Credit: Bob King

Small Is Beautiful: See A Micro Moon And The ‘Mini-Orionids’

We won’t soon forget the supermoon of Nov. 13-14, the closest full moon till Nov. 25, 2034. Two weeks before that on Halloween, the moon was a thin crescent at dusk and at the opposite end of its orbit, farthest from Earth. Distant moons are known as micromoons, and October’s was the most distant of…
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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Wow! Massive Mars Ice Deposit Could Fill Lake Superior

Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies a hidden treasure of water, enough to fill Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, to the brim. This according to researchers who used pictures and radar data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to uncover scalloped and cracked landforms similar to those in the Canadian Arctic…
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Thanksgiving Cosmic Coincidence

Thursday is Thanksgiving, a feast first celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians at the end of harvest in 1621. It lasted three days and was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. Waterfowl, turkey, corn, lobster and venison were among the the entrees. We know it happened in 1621 but it’s unclear…
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