Comet Lovejoy Is Falling Apart

Oh, it’s still there, but not like it used to be. In early April, Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy was the ticket — bright, dense head and streak of a tail almost at the naked eye limit of visibility. Certainly it was an easy if small binocular object with a bright future, provided it held together in…
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Take A Lyrid Meteor Shower Tonight / Astronomy Day!

Tomorrow morning (April 22), the annual Lyrid meteor shower reaches its peak! This medium-strength stream typically delivers about 10-20 meteors per hour from a point in the sky near the bright star Vega. We’ve been showerless since the Quadrantids in early January, and the Lyrids arrive at a most welcome time of year. The warmer weather will…
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Comet 41P In The Dragon’s Gaze / Saturn’s Flying Saucer Moon

Now that the waning gibbous moon rises after 11 o’clock, we’ve got an expanding dark sky window to catch up with 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak. When we last left the comet, it was sailing across the Big Dipper and visible as a 6th magnitude smudge-ball in binoculars. It passed closest to Earth on April 1 at 13 million miles.…
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Asteroid 2017 GM Misses Earth By 9,942 Miles / Comet Lovejoy Still Cookin’

I hope you had pleasant dreams overnight. In one of mine, I couldn’t get my shoe tied right. Glad I woke up from that one. While many of us slept, a tiny near-Earth asteroid named 2017 GM passed exceptionally close to Earth, just 9,942 (15,000 km) miles overhead at 5:31 a.m. CDT (10:31 UT). That…
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Grab Your Binoculars, See New Comet Lovejoy At Dawn

Like the first spring wildflower to pop up from the flattened grass and mud, a newly discovered comet now graces the sky at dawn. Discovered on March 9 by Terry Lovejoy of Australia, it was a faint fuzzy spot in Sagittarius when he first happened on it. Since then, the comet’s brightened rapidly and is…
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