Fireworks FEA

Fireworks On Earth And In Heaven

Tonight across the U.S. millions of us will be out watching the sky flare and boom with fireworks in honor of American independence. It’s also a rare night because we’ll all be doing the same thing at dusk — looking up at the night sky. Shining down from above, we’ll drop in on two stars that may…
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Libra 2016_v2_FEA

Seek Balance In Your Life, See Libra

In late June, you can connect Mars, Saturn and Scorpius’s brightest star Antares to make a nifty right triangle in the southern sky at nightfall. Mars has begun to fade a bit but remains the single brightest “star” in the south direction, its color somewhere between lava and fire. The planet is coming to the…
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This was the first sunset observed in color by Curiosity. The color has been calibrated and white-balanced to remove camera artifacts. Mastcam sees color much the way the human eye does,  although it's a little less sensitive to blue. The Sun's disk itself appears pink because all the cooler colors have been scattered away, similar to why the Sun on Earth appears orange or red when near the horizon. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Stargazing On Mars

We’re stuck with Earth for now when it comes to stargazing. And despite the plague of light pollution, it’s still a pretty good planet for looking up. But thanks to planetarium-style software, we can easily jaunt off to Mars and get an inkling of what the night sky has to offer on a different planet.…
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Mars Moon Saturn Antares May 21_2016_S_FEA

Mars Diamond, What A Sight! / That Giant Sunspot

Last night late, the Full Moon, Mars, Saturn and Antares aligned in a diamond over my front yard. I’ll bet you saw it, too. The figure measured 12° wide and 9° deep and made walking the dog more illuminating than usual. The diamond was a one-night-only affair as the moon is never still. Tonight, you’ll…
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May 21 Mars. Credit: Created with Meridian software by Claude Duplessis

What Will Your Telescope Show On Mars?

Yesterday, we explored Mars with the naked eye. Today, we’ll point a telescope at it. For observers in the northern hemisphere, Mars remains low in the sky throughout its current apparition, never climbing more than a few fists above the southern horizon. Because we view the planet through the bottom of the atmosphere where air turbulence is…
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