A Universe Of A Different Color

The first sound I heard this morning while walking the dog was the bright chipping of a cardinal. I grabbed my binoculars and spotted him halfway up a neighbor’s cottonwood tree. The intensely red cap clinched the identification. A few moments later, barking dogs and a passing car disturbed the scene and off he flew.…
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Highlights For Lunatics

The moon Saturday night through a telescope / William Wiethoff The nights have been superb this past week. Just perfect for moon watching. You’ll forgive me for returning again to my favorite natural satellite. All I can tell you is that I’m not the only one who can’t get enough moonlight in their life. William Wiethoff of…
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What Are You Tellin’ Us, Little Enceladus?

Enceladus hovers above Saturn’s rings as seen by Cassini / NASA As of June 2007, the total number of moons in our solar system stood at 169. When I was kid, that number was 30. Ever since we started sending spacecraft to the planets beginning in the early 1960s, new ones have been popping up like toaster…
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Encounter With The Red Planet

Tonight’s conjunction of the moon and Mars / created with Stellarium The moon is seven days from new phase this evening, and has completed about 1/4 of its orbit around the Earth. Hence the term First Quarter Moon. With clearing in the forecast tonight, you can witness a close encounter between the moon and Mars in the constellation…
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Morning Coffee With The Astronauts

The ISS photographed by Shuttle astronauts last fall / NASA The space shuttle Endeavor recently docked with the International Space Station (ISS), and the pair is now flying like a bright bird every morning across Northland skies. The combined light of the two ships makes it one of the brightest "stars" in the sky. You…
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