‘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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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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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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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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Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower Gets Underway!

Don’t look now but you may see a meteor or two flash by if you’re up in the wee hours tomorrow through the weekend.  It’s the peak of the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower. If you live in the southern U.S. or tropics, up to 25-40 meteors per hour could fly by during during maximum on…
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