Mercury Ascends As Venus Departs And Lo, The Twain Shall Meet

Venus is plummeting. In two weeks you can kiss it goodbye from the evening sky. Happily, it won’t slink out of view as it has on some occasions. No, no. The brightest of planets will leave with a flourish in a farewell conjunction with the planet Mercury on Thursday, May 21. You can watch Venus…
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What’s Going On With Comet SWAN?

Like many of you I’m hoping to see Comet SWAN for the first time at the end of this week or early next. For the northern U.S. the comet is still very low in the morning sky in twilight, but it climbs to around 5° by Monday, May 18, high enough to attempt in binoculars.…
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Nearest Brown Dwarf Might Remind You Of Jupiter

I love clouds but have never really given much thought to exoclouds. These are clouds in the atmospheres of other planets and stars outside the solar system. Max Millar-Blanchaer of the California Institute of Technology and his team recently discovered that the closest known brown dwarf, Luhman 16A, shows signs of cloud bands similar to…
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The Crescent Venus Is Within Your Reach

Have you noticed that Venus is starting to slide in the sun’s direction? It’s not quite as high up in the evening sky as it once was. I hate to say this but we’ve only got till the end of this month before our favorite planet disappears in the solar glow. Venus is headed towards…
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Get Ready For Comet SWAN And Four More Fabulous Fuzzies

Many of us look forward to bright comets. They’re among the most beautiful objects to see in the night sky. The last truly memorable one for Northern Hemisphere skywatchers was Hale-Bopp in 1996 and 1997. All you had to do was open the front door and face the northwestern sky — it hung like a…
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