3 Mornings Left To See Comet 45P/H-M-P In Binoculars

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova only just returned to the morning sky and already it’s on a collision course with the moon. Not literally. Only that the moon is waxing toward full this week and will soon enter the morning sky. When it does, all its glorious light will render what would otherwise be a binocular comet invisible. We first…
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Three Dawn Planets On A String

My fingertips are still tender after today’s happy morning. I drove out to the country in hopes of seeing three comets — V2 Johnson, ER61 PANSTARRS and U1 NEOWISE — before dawn. I tracked them all down from an icy road in the –24°F shivery silence, my fingers curled around hand warmer packets inside lined gloves. My hunt…
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One Last Christmas Present — Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

I hope you’re having a warm and wonderful holiday today. Perhaps you’ve already opened your gifts. If so, I’ve got some good news. Christmas isn’t over yet. One package remains to be opened the next clear night — an evening sky comet named 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova. Why the long name? It was discovered by three people all about the…
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Geminid Meteor Shower Puts On A Show This Week

Every December the Geminid meteor shower roars to life. It’s now the year’s richest shower and can spitball up to 100 meteors an hour when observed under optimal conditions from a dark sky site. Let me be honest at the outset. This year’s shower will be compromised by none other than a supermoon. Yes! That bad boy’s…
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Jupiter Joins The Zodiacal Light Before Dawn

To calm my mind on Election Day morning, I took off before dawn for Lake Superior. Just a quick hop to a beach 10 minutes from home. There along the silent shore stood a slanted feather of comet dust dotted by the bright planet Jupiter. Winds were light, so Jupiter left a gleam line on…
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