Grab A Seat! Tomorrow’s The Peak Of The Annual Leonid Meteor Shower

The Leonids are a tough nut this year, but that doesn’t mean you should give them the cold shoulder. While the shower returns every mid-November to toss 15 meteors per hour our way in the wee hours of the morning, this year’s full moon will halve that number. Still, they’re an enjoyable diversion. If you’re…
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See A Lunar Crater Arc Tonight / 4-comet Tableau / Space Station Flybys

If you step outside tonight you’ll see a bright waxing gibbous moon below the Great Square of Pegasus. Far to the moon’s lower right shines Fomalhaut, the only bright star in the southern half of the sky during early evening hours. While the moon looks smooth and pasty to the naked eye, binoculars will show…
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Mercury Enters Early Morning Comet Traffic Jam

As the arc of dawn swelled in the eastern sky, we thought we were done observing. Jim, Eric, Greg and I had come to this dark place Sunday morning to look for comets in our telescopes. Clouds were causing trouble, but we exploited every starry hole we could find, eventually adding Jupiter, Mars and double…
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Comets ISON And Encke Give The Gift Of Zodiacal Light

See that big finger of light in the photo? That’s the zodiacal light, a vast cloud of mostly comet dust gathered into a thick disk in the plane of the solar system. It glows for the same reason you see sunbeams across your bedroom when you open the curtain in the morning – sunlight reflecting off…
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Morning Comets ISON, Encke And Lovejoy Heat Up, Glow Green

The color green represents hope and life. It’s also a sure sign our three morning comets are heating up and becoming more active as they approach the sun. I don’t know anyone who’s noticed the green color with their eyes looking through a telescope – the comets are all still around magnitude 10-11 and too…
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