The Blue Hour

A 1820 painting titled Der Abend (The Evening) by Caspar David Friedrich depicting two people on a twilight walk. Twilight is sometimes referred to as "the blue hour" when the natural illumination we receive comes from the sky. Yesterday’s sunset was welcome relief after a hot, humid day. The cool evening air made everything right.…
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Dude, Look At Your Dew

An extreme closeup of tiny dew droplets suspended on a grass spider’s web. Each bead is only about a tenth to a fifth of a millimeter across. They’re so tiny that surface tension snaps each drop into a nearly perfect sphere. Photo: Bob King / News Tribune These summer nights are sweet. Jupiter can’t be missed…
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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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