Perseids 2016 Aug12amJonathan McElvery A_FEA

Perseid Meteor Shower Briefly Storms, Still Has Legs

The Perseid meteor shower must have looked fantastic from 10,000 feet. That’s how high you would have had to go to get past the pervasive fog and overcast skies at my home last night. Tonight looks a little better for weather, so I’ll do what all hopeful amateurs astronomers do. Set the alarm for 2 a.m.…
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Credit: NASA

‘Jupiter Boost’ May Kick Perseid Meteor Shower Into High Gear This Week

Get ready for what could be the most fantastic meteor display of the year. Every mid-August, Earth barrels through the trail of dusty crumbs left behind by Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. They strike our atmosphere at 67,000 mph (30 km/sec) and vaporize in flashes of light called meteors. Since they appear to radiate from a point in the sky…
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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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Noctilucent_Clouds_Ireen Trummer Wikimedia FEA

Hunting Down Summer’s Elusive Noctilucent Clouds

Every time June rolls around a little light goes off in my head reminding me to look for noctilucent clouds. Noctilucent or night-shining clouds appear in the summer months — June and July are best — very low in the northern sky from mid-twilight until the onset of true darkness. They’re fragile-looking, wispy things that glow an…
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Arizona Ashcraft fireball

Massive Fireball Over Arizona

A monster fireball brighter than the full moon not only lit up central Arizona’s skies early this morning but exploded with such force, it shook the ground! Amateur astronomer Chris Schur reported that the meteor glowed at around magnitude -16, more than twice as bright as the full moon. Searing the sky high over the canyons and deserts…
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