Credit: NASA/ESA/L.Sromovsky

Visit Uranus — The Blue Planet 1.8 Billion Miles From Home

Uranus, the 7th planet, reached opposition, its closest point to Earth this year, more than a month ago. A few amateur astronomers like to drop by to spy the planet’s pale blue disk — best appreciated at magnifications of 100x and up — or seek its two brightest moons, Titania and Oberon, faint pinpricks of light within…
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Deepest Look Ever Into Orion Nebula Reveals Lots Of Tiny Tots

Orion Nebula in July? Sure, why not! Especially when new photos taken in infrared light of the famous star factory in the sky reveal tons of brown dwarfs and gobs of smaller, planet-mass objects.  Astronomers used the wide-field HAWK-I infrared instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to produce the deepest and most…
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Venus elongation phasesFEA

Hello Venus, Hello Mercury!

Quick. How many naked eye planets can you see in the night sky? If you answered three — Jupiter, Mars and Saturn — congratulations, you’re three-fifths correct! But two others have been sneaking up from behind when we weren’t paying attention. Venus has recently returned to the evening sky after a many-month hiatus, and Mercury’s putting…
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View to the east showing lots of active rays or pillars. My wide-angle lens was only wide enough to cover 1/3 of the display at a time. Credit: Bob King

Auroras Expected Sat. Night / AZ Fireball Update

Get ready for stormy weather. Zillions of sub-microscopic electrons and protons from a solar coronal hole are expected to impact Earth’s magnetic domain beginning sometime tomorrow afternoon. Space weather forecasters are calling for moderate storm conditions through about 10 p.m. (CDT) Saturday evening followed by a return to minor storm from 10 till 1 a.m. Based…
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A poster of artistic interpretations of about 500 of the 1,978 known exoplanets or planets that orbit stars other than our sun. Credit: Martin Vargic

1,284 New Planets To Ponder / Moon Meets Jupiter

One planet can be enough. Make that two. One planet to stand on and one to look at. You might find yourself looking at Jupiter tomorrow night (May 14) when the waxing half moon stops by for a visit. The conjunction of these two bright sky objects in Leo will be the night’s naked eye…
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