Holey Sun Could Fire Up Auroras Tonight

In one of the Winnie the Pooh stories I read to my kids, the lovable bear carries around a bag or sock with a hole in it. One day, he and Piglet get lost in the forest, but thanks to the the hole, the crumbs lead them back to safety. The sun’s like that. It…
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The Pleiades Return As The Orange Moon Departs

I learned something interesting about moonrise last night. When I went to take a photo of the Pleiades star cluster, now coming up in the eastern sky around 8:30 p.m. local time, I also captured the glow of the moon, at the time about 2° (four moon diameters) below the horizon. The eastern sky glowed faintly,…
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Milky Way’s Black Hole Portrait In Progress

Time to check in to see how things are coming along with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). The EHT  involves eight radio telescopes across the globe working together to capture the first image of a black hole.  The bigger the scope, the finer the detail visible in faraway objects. But instead of building a telescope as big as the Earth,…
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Ancient Mars May Have Vented Just Like Earth

Did Mars have black and white smokers, too? Scientists have found evidence for ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits on Mars that may provide clues about the origin of life on Earth. Photos taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) show massive deposits in the Eridania basin in southern Mars that the authors of a recent paper  think…
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Tomorrow’s Venus-Mars Conjunction A Real Squeaker

After all the conjunctions at dawn in Leo the past few weeks, you’d think nature would give it a rest. Not on your life. Tomorrow morning (Thurs. Oct. 5), Venus will pass just ¼° north of Mars low in the eastern sky in … Leo! This remarkably close pair should be a beautiful sight and…
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