Mars Saturn Antares April 29_2016_S_FEA

Get Re-acquainted With The Night

Clouds, commitments and a bad cold have kept the stars and I apart for weeks.  Last night’s clear sky finally brought us back together. I can be a miner when it comes to the night, drilling for nebulae, galaxies and comets with my telescope for hours, extracting one glittering gem after another. Other times, I prefer to tilt my…
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Moon Mars Saturn conj_FEA

See A Moon-Mars-Saturn Get-together

The full moon put in an appearance last night roughly halfway between Jupiter and the duo of Saturn and Mars. Following the moon’s movement through the zodiac is like having your own personal driver. Just hop on. One night, you’ll zip by Jupiter. The next night, you might be dropped off on the doorstep of a bright star cluster.  Monday morning…
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Use this map to help you track comet 252P/LINEAR through June. The position is shown for 5 a.m. local Daylight Saving Time with the comet's position marked every 3 days. Stars are labeled with their Greek letters and numbers and plotted to magnitude +7.5. Saturn and Mars' positions are for early April.  All the Greek lettered stars are bright enough to see with the naked eye. Created with Chris Marriott's SkyMap

No Foolin’, We Might Get Aurora Tonight / Comet 252P Still Bright

I’d love to write about a big aurora coming April Fools night just to kid around. Unfortunately, I can’t do that because there really is a chance for northern lights tonight. A recent coronal hole opened up and allowed a stream of particles loose in Earth’s direction that’s expected to impact tonight. Space weather experts…
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The ExoMars craft releases the Schiaparelli lander in this artist's view

ExoMars Spacecraft Safe After Rocket Stage Explosion

On March 14, the ExoMars mission successfully lifted off on a 7-month journey to the planet Mars but not without a little surprise. The Breeze-M upper booster stage, designed to give the craft its final kick toward Mars, exploded shortly after parting from the probe. Thankfully it wasn’t close enough to damage the spacecraft which remains in…
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This map shows the sky facing south tomorrow morning (March 15) with Mars very close to the star Beta Scorpii. Map: Bob King, source: Stellarium

Mars Gets Tight With A Bright Double Star / ExoMars / Possible Auroras March 14,15

Mars is always on the move, so it’s inevitable it would run into something beautiful. Tomorrow and Wednesday mornings it slides very close to the gorgeous double star, Beta Scorpii, also known as Graffias, in the constellation Scorpius. Although the planet rises around 1:30 in the morning, you’ll see it best straight up south around 5:30…
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