Credit: Bob King

Small Is Beautiful: See A Micro Moon And The ‘Mini-Orionids’

We won’t soon forget the supermoon of Nov. 13-14, the closest full moon till Nov. 25, 2034. Two weeks before that on Halloween, the moon was a thin crescent at dusk and at the opposite end of its orbit, farthest from Earth. Distant moons are known as micromoons, and October’s was the most distant of…
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Leonid meteors seen from 39,000 feet aboard an aircraft during the 1999 Leonids Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign. Credit: NASA/ISAS/Shinsuke Abe and Hajime Yano

Bright Moon Will Ding Leonid Meteor Shower

The moon giveth, and the moon taketh away. The very thing that will make us go gaga this weekend — a close, bright supermoon — will also take a bite out of the Leonid meteor shower. Leonids appear to fly out of the constellation of Leo the Lion, hence their name. The shower occurs every…
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Orionids. Stellarium

Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks Friday Morning

Every year in late October, Earth plows into  a “snow flurry” of dust and small fragments shed by Halley’s Comet during its many passages of the sun. The last time Halley dropped by our vicinity was in 1986, and it’s expected again in 2061. Every time the comet draws near the sun, solar heating boils…
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Aldebaran occ_edited-1

Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Peaks / Moon Occults Aldebaran Tomorrow Morning

Something tells me I’ll be losing sleep tonight. Not for worrying but for the pleasure of seeing meteors fly out of Aquarius while the crescent moon makes a close pass of Aldebaran at dawn. Every year in late July the Earth passes through a cloud of comet debris most likely shed by 96P/Machholz. The comet was discovered…
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Quadrantids shower 2015_SCatalina_FEA

Quadrantid Meteor Shower Brief, Beautiful And Peaks Monday

2016 began with a nice display of the northern lights if you were fortunate enough to have clear skies. Pillars of aurora were briefly visible here in northern Minnesota before clouds moved in. On the heels of that auspicious start, the annual Quadrantid meteor shower peaks Monday morning January 4th. It get its unusual-sounding name from the…
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