Red Roadster Heads For Interplanetary Space — See It In Orbit

On Tuesday, SpaceX celebrated the successful launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket carrying a red Tesla Roadster. Three rockets strapped together were required to give the car a big enough boost to leave Earth’s gravity and send it into orbit about the sun. Two of those rockets re-landed safely back on Earth. The only mishap,…
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Moon-Planet Conjunctions — The Possibilities Are Infinite!

Every month, the traveling moon circles across the entire sky, passing through the 12 constellations of the zodiac and briefly lining up with various bright planets that currently inhabit those star groups: Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn in Ophiuchus (not an official zodiac constellation, but that’s another story) and Venus in Pisces. The alignments are called conjunctions,…
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Ready For Summer Skies? Say Farewell To Winter First

The grass mocks me. A couple weeks ago, it was brown. Now it’s suddenly green, overgrown. The thought of mowing more than an acre every week with a self-propelled lawnmower weighs on my mind. Spring’s moving fast, and summer will soon be here. And yet. And yet at dusk, we can look west and still see…
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Solstice Aurora And A Dawn Double Conjunction

Just a few hours ago, the sun reached its lowest point in the sky for the northern hemisphere at exactly 4:44 a.m. Central time (10:44 UT). The moment is known as the winter solstice and the official start of winter. It’s also the shortest day and longest night of the year. If night’s your thing, you’ll have…
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Juno Returns A ‘Pearl’ From Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft made another of its close flybys of Jupiter on Dec. 11 and returned this new photo featuring a extraterrestrial pearl. But while a real pearl is a lustrous gem built around an irritant such a food particle in a mollusk, this pearl is a storm half the size of the Earth whirling counterclockwise…
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