Riding A Cosmic Carousel

Bob King / News Tribune Another cold, clear night last night. The coyotes yipped and a few trees popped loudly as the temperature dropped to 12 below. Heat absorbed during the day quickly radiates away on a clear night making wintertime star gazing a challenge. Yesterday we looked at the rising and setting of stars…
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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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