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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Scintillating Sirius … Or Not

(Orion’s Belt and the star Sirius — Bob King / News Tribune) We’ve had numerous clear nights in the Northland over the week, some windy and some calm. Last night was a gem with air so still, it seemed frozen into place. Where I was, the temperature dropped to -12 F. Once my telescope cooled down, galaxies,…
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A Flash In The Night

  (Two meteors during the 2001 Leonid meteor shower — Bob King/ News Tribune) Susan of Virginia, Minn. wrote me the other day about something that really caught her attention. In her words: "I was on Highway 33 on Friday, Feb. 15th. I’m not sure what time it was, maybe 9 or 9:30 and to our…
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