Huge Avalanche Seen On Mars

If you haven’t seen it yet, NASA released this amazing image yesterday of a large avalanche on the Red Planet taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter back on February 19. It was recorded by chance as the Orbiter was snapping pictures of Mars’ north polar cap. The slope at left running top to bottom is some 2,300 feet high. The…
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Riding A Cosmic Carousel

Bob King / News Tribune Another cold, clear night last night. The coyotes yipped and a few trees popped loudly as the temperature dropped to 12 below. Heat absorbed during the day quickly radiates away on a clear night making wintertime star gazing a challenge. Yesterday we looked at the rising and setting of stars…
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Forget The Shuteye, Gimme Summer

(Looking east at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning March 4 — created with Stellarium) I heard the sound of spring under my feet this weekend. While hikingdown Amity Creek, water rolling along under the ice broadcast amuffled but very musical gurgling. The flow of water, however hidden,recalls warmer times.The sky is like that too. When you go…
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Be Master Of Your Celestial Domain

(Sky from Duluth, MN 7:30 p.m. tonight — created with Stellarium) Unless you had access to dark, rural skies and a northern horizon, the forecasted aurora was probably a bust for you. After watching a movie with my kids, I drove out to the country and scanned the north around 1 a.m. A very low…
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Leap With A Gazelle / Aurora Alert!

(Created with Stellarium) My clear sky antennae are twitching so I’m optimistic for tonight. Given that a clear leap night is a rarity, we’d certainly want to look at something fitting for the occasion. I would offer the "Three Leaps of the Gazelle." This curious pattern, consisting of three pairs of stars, is an ancient…
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