In The Glare Of The Sun Hides The Hunter

Orion around 1 p.m. today June 14. Orion normally hides in the glare of the daytime sun during the early part of the summer. Venus is the bump sticking out of the sun’s left side It’s also too close to the sun to see right now. — created with Stellarium. June is one sweet-smelling month.…
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Pat On The Head For Pluto

Give a big welcome to the plutoid family, consisting of Pluto and the distant asteroidEris. Both are orbited by moons. Pluto is 1365 miles in diameter and Eris is 1440 miles — NASA/Hubble Space Telescope Poor Pluto. It’s been kicked around a lot the past couple years as astronomers have demoted it from planet status to…
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Try Sniffing Out These Dogs

The gibbous moon will hang just below the star Spica in Virgo tonight. Keen-eyedbinocular users can see the 55-mile-diameter crater Copernicus along the moon’s terminator. — created with Stellarium I hesitate to do this but the Clear Sky Chart indicates a clear night tonight despite a grimmer forecast. Am I feeling lucky? You bet. With…
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Spherical Aspirations

My daughter Maria holds one of her favorite types of spheres, a large ball.  Everybody loves a sphere. It’s the most common shape in the universe from soccer balls to stars. Long ago I wondered why so many things in the sky are spherical. Why not an oval or square or dodecahedron? Up to a certain size, objects…
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Take The Bear By The Paws

Face northwest and look high above your head after 10 o’clock to see theoutline of the Great Bear or Ursa Major. — Stellarium I never tire of the many facets of the Big Dipper. It’s one the easiest star groups to recognize, and you can use it to find your way to numerous, less familiar…
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