A Stellar Celebrity In Our Midst

Looking east tonight around 9:30 p.m. / created with Stellarium By coincidence, the newly discovered exploding star (see yesterday’s entry) is not far from our featured star, Arcturus, in the constellation of Bootes. Take a look at the map above. Did you see anything unusual at that spot this past Wednesday morning at 1:12 a.m.…
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Explosion From The Depths Of Time

Gary Meader, our graphic artist at the News Tribune, alerted me to this story on the AP wire and I thought it worth sharing with you. It seems the universe has a surprise for us nearly every day. Gamma ray burst GRB 080319B in X-rays (left) and UV/optical light (right)Photos by NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler, et al. WASHINGTON…
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Big, Fat, Pink Arcturus

Looking east 9:30 p.m. Follow the Dipper’s Handle to Arcturus. Aaron Copland’s "Suite from the Tender Land" played on the radio as I drove in this morning. The final section, titled "Promise of Living," took me away. I’ve heard it dozens of times before, but today the sweeping tune reverberated inside my cells, heightening my appreciation of…
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Vernal Inequality

A brilliant sun reflects in Lake Superior this morning / Bob King Spring crept in quietly this morning at 12:48 a.m. when most of us were lost in dreams. No need to be shy. We grab the new season by the shoulders like a long lost friend and embrace its coming. The first day of spring is also known by it astronomical name, the vernal…
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Free Stuff For Star Nuts

Sky chart and the essential red flashlight / Bob King It cleared up around 10 last night and the gibbous moon beamed down with intensity. Tonight should be clear as well. The moon moves eastward some 12 degrees per day (24 of its own diameters) in its orbit around the Earth. This amounts to one outstretched…
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