Mercury Jupiter conj Oct11 wide_FEA

See A Double-Planet Huddle At Dawn

Mercury’s been hanging out at dawn the past couple weeks. But you knew that. You may have even set your alarm for a look at the shy planet. In case you haven’t, Jupiter will sweeten the pot on Tuesday morning (Oct. 11). The biggest planet, which has been hiding in the glare of the sun since September,…
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September 28, 2016 aurora. Credit: Bob King

Mercury Joins Forces With The Aurora

Late last night I could see the start of our three-day affair with the aurora as a glow behind a low bank of clouds. Early this morning, soft flames of the stuff flickered in the belly of the northern sky as dawn swelled in the east. Yesterday’s cheery forecast for G2 geomagnetic storms still holds for both…
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Credit: Bob King

‘Challenge’ Photos And A Jupiter-Moon Conjunction

Did you have any luck with last night’s challenge of finding the crescent moon and all five bright planets? I decided to take the challenge too. There were a few surprises. First, the both the thin lunar crescent and Venus were higher and easier to see than I expected. And once the sky darkened a…
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Mercury moon venus jupiter Aug 4_FEA

Observing Challenge — See A Slim Crescent, Venus, Mercury And Jupiter At Dusk

Every so often in this blog we feature an observing challenge. Since the summer weather’s so nice and you have a little free time after dinner, why not grab your binoculars and head out to the nearest western horizon shortly after sunset. If the air is transparent with no haze or clouds obstructing the view, tomorrow…
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Venus elongation phasesFEA

Hello Venus, Hello Mercury!

Quick. How many naked eye planets can you see in the night sky? If you answered three — Jupiter, Mars and Saturn — congratulations, you’re three-fifths correct! But two others have been sneaking up from behind when we weren’t paying attention. Venus has recently returned to the evening sky after a many-month hiatus, and Mercury’s putting…
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