Comet Lovejoy Still Puttin’ On The Ritz / Zodiacal Light’s Zo Fine

Believe it or not, Comet Lovejoy is still a naked eye comet and putting on a great show in the northern sky this month. With no moon out till 8 last night, I cozied up to darkness for a great view of the comet in 10×50 binoculars. From a rural location, Lovejoy’s bright head or coma…
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Three Easy Star Clusters For Late Winter Evenings

Go out any night in early March around 8 o’clock. Face south. See that firecracker bright star a little less than halfway up in the sky? That’s Sirius. Brightest star visible in both hemispheres. Most likely it will be twinkling as a myriad of air cells of different density and temperature race between your eyes…
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New Day For Dawn As It Falls Into Ceres Embrace

Dawn’s approach and trajectory as it begins its orbital “dance” with Ceres NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has become the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. Its also the first spacecraft to orbit two separate solar system bodies. The spacecraft was approximately 38,000 miles (61,000 km) from Ceres when it was captured by the…
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Full Worm Moon Wriggles Up, Shows Its Head Tonight

With 14 below on the thermometer this morning I don’t think Full Worm Moon quite fits as a description for tonight’s full moon. How about the Sap Moon, named for the time when sap begins to run again in maple trees? No, a little too early for that. These traditional Native American moon names obviously…
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Ceres Bright Spots May Be Ice; Dawn Slips Into Orbit Friday

Ceres mysterious bright spots = icy volcanoes? Probably not, but the alternatives are just as intriguing. In a press conference Tuesday with scientists behind the Dawn mission, deputy principal investigator Carol Raymond explained that the brightest spot isn’t associated with a mound or peak as it would be if it were produced by oozing or eruption of…
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