One-Two Solar Punch Could Ignite Auroras Aug. 2

A blast of solar plasma coupled with a gust of particles from a coronal hole has left the gate and is now racing toward Earth. NOAA space weather forecasters in Boulder, Col. are predicting that the duo of duo of subatomic solar exhalations will reach our planet sometime tomorrow morning (Aug. 2) and initiate a…
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Moon Vs. Star — Dawn’s Aldebaran Occultation

I almost didn’t get up for the Aldebaran event at dawn today. My excuse? Up past midnight with the aurora! Surely that’s a valid reason to get some shuteye. Anyway, I’m glad I did. We didn’t get an occultation here in Minnesota, but what a sight just the same. Taurus’s brightest star Aldebaran practically touched the…
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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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Crescent Moon Hits The Bull’s Eye Sunday

The other day we talked about how to find the planet Mercury at dusk. Tonight, you can use the arc of the thin crescent moon to help point you to the planet, located just 8° or just shy of one fist held at arm’s length to its lower right. By Sunday night (April 10), the moon will have…
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Half-moon’s Heart Set On The Hyades

Tonight, the half moon enters the constellation Taurus about a fist from both the Hyades and Pleiades star clusters. After crescent phase, first quarter is my favorite because I like seeing a perfectly straight-up-and-down terminator. That’s the line that divides the sunlit half of the moon from the half still in darkness. The terminator neatly bisects…
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