Mars’ Frozen Pole — Cold, Beautiful And Keeper Of Climate History

Brilliant Venus and fainter Mars seem inseparable. They’ve been sky buds for at least a month, hanging out within a few fingers of each other at dusk. While Venus is certainly one of the hottest places in the solar system with a surface temperature around 860° F (460° C), Mars is downright frigid with an…
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Moon Hangs By A Fingernail Tonight

Barely there. That’s how you might describe the moon tonight. Only 22-25 hours old, one of the thinnest crescents you’ll ever see basks in orange glow of twilight this evening (Jan. 28). New Moon occurred yesterday at 6:07 Central time, making tonight’s crescent 23 hours old for Midwesterners, 22 hours for those out East, 24…
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Venus Squared Then Straight To Andromeda

I wonder how many millions of people have noticed Venus shining in the western sky at dusk? Only the moon is more obvious. It will soon return to the evening sky, but for now, darkness reigns at nightfall. Astute skywatchers have also noticed how Venus and Mars have been inching closer together over the past month.…
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Looking Back At Earth From Mars Gives Us Pause

After you’ve traveled a long way, whether in life or miles, it’s nice to look back. You can see the world with fresh eyes. That’s why I like these now-and-again photos of our home from space. They place the Earth in the context of the greater solar system, the way we see Mars or Jupiter or…
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Below Zero And Closest To The Sun — How So?

Wednesday morning, the people in my town will wake up to strong winds and 4 below zero (–20°C). Funny that that very day the Earth will be closest to the sun for 2017. Do you think we’ll feel any warmer? Absolutely not. The momentary proximity occurs at 8:17 a.m. Central time, when the distance from…
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