Chance For Aurora Tonight / More Daylight Planets / Best Ultima Thule Yet

An opening in the sun’s corona called a coronal hole has been streaming high speed particles Earth’s way this week. They’re expected to arrive later this afternoon, when they’ll pry into the planet’s magnetic defenses and cook up a minor geomagnetic storm. According to the latest space weather forecast, there looks to be a good…
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See Jupiter In The Daytime? Try Weds. Morning!

The morning sky planets have been shuffled and reshuffled over the past few months. Their order is now set from east to west: Venus, Saturn and Jupiter, and the threesome won’t cross paths again until the late fall when Venus returns to the evening sky. This Wednesday, Feb. 27 at dawn, the thick lunar crescent…
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Visit A Lonely Planet / Sweet Success For Japan’s Asteroid Probe

Just a couple quick updates. Have you tried to spot Mercury at dusk yet? I can report it’s easier to see than I thought. Several nights ago, I found it  about a fist high in the west 40-50 minutes after sunset. It looked so lonely there, shining all by itself in the orange haze. Another…
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Let Arcturus Show You The Way To Spring

Checking the sky last night I spotted a flaming new star in the northeastern sky — Arcturus. I like a nice, chewy name. This one comes from the ancient Greek Arktouros meaning bear-watcher. It’s a good fit because Arcturus trails just behind the tail of Ursa Major the Great Bear, its orange eye ever focused…
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Hayabusa 2 Probe To Fire A Bullet Into An Asteroid Today — Watch It Live

The Japanese Hayabusa-2 spacecraft will touch down on and grab a sample of asteroid Ryugu today. You can watch it live here starting at 3:45 p.m. Central Time this afternoon (Feb. 21). The whole sequence, from touchdown and sample retrieval to ascending back into orbit, will take about 2½ hours. For updates in case plans change, check…
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