Phobos-Grunt Cracks Up Over South Pacific

Time for a collective sigh of relief. The Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft crashed down 775 miles west of Wellington Island (just west of Chile) in the South Pacific at 11:45 a.m. CST today according to Russia’s Novosti news service, where you can read the full story. Any surviving fragments are likely chillin’ on the ocean floor.…
Read More

Russian Mars Probe Demise Imminent

A satellite observer in Tulsa, Oklahoma saw the Russian Mars probe Phobos-Grunt fly over last night, so it’s still up there. Not for long though. Here are estimates from several agencies and individuals on when the craft is expected to break up and burn as it reenters Earth’s atmosphere today. All times are CST and…
Read More

Time’s Up For Phobos-Grunt, Re-entry Expected Sunday

Late tonight look to the east to see the moon line up below the Red Planet. Binoculars will reveal nice crater detail on the moon but don’t expect them to show much on Mars. Being a small planet only about twice the size of the moon, Mars requires a telescope to see any surface detail.…
Read More

Saturn-moon Conjunction Plus Comet Lovejoy’s A Joy To Behold

I just had to share this awesome comet photo taken yesterday morning. What a thing of beauty, as sleek as a tailfin on a ’59 Cadillac. A few amateur astronomers in Brazil and Australia are seeing the comet just before sunrise using binoculars. They report a tiny, bright head or coma and short, thin tail. …
Read More

Moon And Jupiter Delight Plus How To See A Sick Satellite

You never know where the moon’s going to pop up. Yesterday afternoon it played hide and seek with the buildings downtown as I walked around looking for a suitable place to frame a bit of heaven and earth. Both tonight and tomorrow night the waxing gibbous moon will be near the planet Jupiter high in…
Read More