Big, Fat, Pink Arcturus

Looking east 9:30 p.m. Follow the Dipper’s Handle to Arcturus. Aaron Copland’s "Suite from the Tender Land" played on the radio as I drove in this morning. The final section, titled "Promise of Living," took me away. I’ve heard it dozens of times before, but today the sweeping tune reverberated inside my cells, heightening my appreciation of…
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Vernal Inequality

A brilliant sun reflects in Lake Superior this morning / Bob King Spring crept in quietly this morning at 12:48 a.m. when most of us were lost in dreams. No need to be shy. We grab the new season by the shoulders like a long lost friend and embrace its coming. The first day of spring is also known by it astronomical name, the vernal…
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Free Stuff For Star Nuts

Sky chart and the essential red flashlight / Bob King It cleared up around 10 last night and the gibbous moon beamed down with intensity. Tonight should be clear as well. The moon moves eastward some 12 degrees per day (24 of its own diameters) in its orbit around the Earth. This amounts to one outstretched…
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You’ll Never Sleep Again

Moon, Regulus and Saturn tonight after 8:30 /created with Stellarium Wouldn’t it be nice to know what hours of the night the sky is likely to be clear? There’s an excellent tool out there for determining this with good results. It’s a website called the Clear Sky Chart, created by Attilla Danko. It uses data…
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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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