Hook Mercury With The Crescent Moon Tonight

Thank goodness for the moon otherwise few of us would find the planet Mercury tonight. The planet may hang low like the proverbial low hanging fruit, but that doesn’t work nearly as well in astronomy as it does with your apple tree. Haze, twilight and light pollution compromise any astronomical object near the horizon. Mercury will…
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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot A ‘Perfect Storm Of Art And Science’

The first closeup photos of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot are in! These were taken during yesterday evening’s close flyby and show the 1.3 Earth-diameter-wide storm in more detail than ever. Trapped between two jet streams, the storm’s been spinning in circles as it slowly drifts around the planet for more than 350 years. Galileo never…
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Jovian Tidbits While-U-Wait

While we wait for the first photos from Juno to arrive after its close flyover of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot last night, I wanted to share a couple photos of the planet taken the past few nights. One night, I came back from walking my dog, Sammy, and caught the planet’s reflection in a puddle.…
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Warm Up Before Monday’s Flyby With These Cool, New Views Of Jupiter’s Red Spot

In just 3 days, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly directly over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a 10,000-mile-wide (16,000 km) storm that’s been whirling around the atmosphere for possibly 400 years or more. While the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft have taken photos of the planet’s most iconic feature, Juno will come closer than any before it,…
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Night Sky On The Fourth Of July

Today we celebrate American Independence Day, when lots of us will be out watching fireworks displays at dusk. Since getting a good seat means arriving early, you might have a little time on your hands to look around and take in the stars before the show begins. Or even after the show. Assuming a forecast…
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