An Invitation To Observe Saturn Tonight

The waxing moon coasts to Saturn’s side tonight. With Jupiter and Venus now so low in the west after sunset, Saturn is quickly becoming our only evening planet. While more planets means more fun, I don’t feel deprived. We’ve had a great year so far with Mercury, Venus and Jupiter putting in bright and lasting appearances. No planet truly…
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Pluto – Home To Nitrogen Glaciers And Serious Global Cooling

Frigid Pluto, where the surface temperature dips to -390°F, is as lively as Mars. Among the discoveries announced during an afternoon press conference today are glacier-like flows of nitrogen ice and a surprisingly hazy atmosphere. How Pluto gets its hazy skies The photo above was taken from an angle otherwise impossible to get from Earth — directly…
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Earth’s Million Mile Smile

You and I see Earth up close every day, and I think we’d agree, it’s a pretty awesome planet. Now, a new satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) will be watching Earth every day from a distance of one million miles. DSCOVR was built to provide continuous views of Earth, to monitor the solar wind,…
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Pluto, A Small World With Big Mysteries

Gosh, for being so small, Pluto is certainly a complex planet. Oops, dwarf planet. This latest photo of a new mountain range discovered in Tombaugh Regio, shows a wonderful diversity of landscapes. First mountains but also craters, ice flows (at right), squiggly terrain (center) and dramatic contrasts between the dark, crater-rich region to the left…
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Chill Out Tonight On The Sea Of Crises

The last thing you need at the end of your day is another crisis. But this one, well, I think you’ll be able to handle. Did you see the moon a few nights back when it was near Venus? Since then, it’s moved eastward and filled out in phase. Tonight it’s a thick crescent, and the first dark…
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