Beacons To Light The Way Into Deep Space

Venus, Mercury and the crescent moon scrape the western horizon tonight (Sept. 1) at 8 p.m., 15 minutes after sunset. Venus lies three fingers, held out in front of you, above the horizon. The sky will be bright at this time, making the moon and Mercury very difficult to spot. If you don’t find them, you can at…
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Fun At The Furtman Farm

Lively discussion at the breakfast table this morning (August 31) with Ted Pellman, Jon Dannehy, Eric Norland and Bob Greene. How do people on so little sleep continue to talk astronomy nonstop? Three things: passion, coffee and … lack of sleep.  Photo: Bob King I know, I know. I promised you the Andromeda galaxy and Cepheids but…
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Volcanic Dust Paints Duluth’s Sunsets

Fiery colors illuminate the western sky a half hour after sunset last night (August 29) over Rice Lake Township. Volcanic dust and gas high in the atmosphere have deepened the colors of twilight the past week or two. Photo: Bob King / News Tribune I hope some of you found our featured variable star Eta Aquilae under last…
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Sufferin’ Succotash, It’s A Cepheid

We’re so used to the sun’s constancy. It’s doesn’t suddenly brighten and then fade. It’s the same size day to day, even millenium to millenium. The sun is reliable, which is probably why life has had the opportunity to flourish in so much variety on our planet. Stars like the sun remain well-behaved over much…
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The Eye Of Sauron

A striking display of crepuscular rays around the sun this morning, August 28. Although the rays appears to focus on the sun, they’re actually parallel to one another. The "railroad track" effect makes them look like they’re converging toward the sun. Photo: Bob King / News Tribune I walked out of Marshall school this morning,…
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