View facing south tomorrow Saturday morning Jan. 23 as seen from Minneapolis, Minn. and other locations in the northern half of the U.S. All the planets lie along the ecliptic, the plane of Earth's orbit. Stellarium

See All Five Planets Line Up At Dawn!

To listen to the TV news you’d think the well-publicized planetary lineup is pretty much over. The good news is that this visual treat has just begun. Jupiter, Venus and Mars have been trolling the morning sky for months. A few weeks ago, they were joined by Saturn, emerging low in the southeastern sky at…
Read More

9th planet nine artist caltechFEA

Astronomers Uncover Evidence For A Hidden 9th Planet

Hey, there might really be another planet out there. A pretty big one, too. Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20…
Read More

Winter Hexagon and G_FEA

Wolf Moon Trapped By The Winter Hexagon

Moonlight’s flooding the sky these nights. Watch for the waxing gibbous to fatten into a full Wolf Moon by Friday evening. The moon’s great at blocking out starlight. During crescent phase only stars near the moon suffer while the remainder of the sky remains quite dark. The spill become much more noticeable around half phase or first quarter when…
Read More

Winter SHemis Aust 9pmFEA

The Stars Go Backwards In Australia

Well, at least for northerners they do. With winter thick upon us and temperatures well below zero the past few days, my mind turned to summer. Then to Australia, where summer has been underway for nearly a month.  Sydney’s temp should hit 85 degrees tomorrow. Anyone who’s ever traveled to the southern hemisphere knows how unfamiliar…
Read More

an unusual type of neutron star with an extremely strong magnetic field

Brightest Supernova Ever Discovered Amazes And Confounds

Last June, the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN — think “assassin”) discovered a faint flicker of starlight in an unremarkable galaxy in the far southern constellation of Indus the Indian. Hundreds of supernovae are discovered every year, but this one was different. Once it was determined the exploding star lay 2.8 billion light years from…
Read More