XXXOOXOOXXXX For Mother Earth

No gold medals here from last night’s planetary olympiad. A bronze maybe? Like others, I got skunked by low cirrus clouds along the western horizon. Don’t get me wrong. Venus was very easy to see at the appointed time, and not too many minutes later, Mercury appeared in binoculars but dimmer Saturn and Mars never…
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Interplanetary Olympics Tonight

Find a location with a low horizon to the west tonight August 14, and see if you can spot all four planets to the left of the sunset point. Venus will be three "fingers" above the horizon. The best time to look for the compact trio is about 20 minutes after sunset. Mars will be visible some 15 minutes later as the sky darkens.…
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Celestial Portrait Session

The gibbous moon and Jupiter join hands in Sagittarius (the Teapot) tonight, August 13. We hope the clouds will part long enough to give us a window on the celestial scene. — created with Stellarium  As the moon fattens towards full phase this Saturday, it will buddy up with Jupiter this evening. Look southeast around 9:15 p.m. to find the…
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Get To Know The Celebrities

Stars are like people. They’re good at hiding their personal side unless you get to know them well. Take the three stars of the Summer Triangle — Vega, Deneb and Altair. They’re bright, white-colored stars that shine the same way the sun does. Deep in their blazingly hot cores, hydrogen atoms combine to create helium, releasing energy…
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The Flip Side Of Cygnus

An August 2007 Perseid meteor streaks across the sky in this time exposure photo — Photo: Mila Zinkova It sure looks dicey tonight for the Perseids meteor shower in northern Minnesota. I hope conditions are better for readers elsewhere. If the sky stays clear to partly cloudy early, it’s still worthwhile to keep an eye out.  Early evening Perseids stream in…
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