Thank Your Lucky Stars Earth’s An Old Soul

Earth came early to the planet party. According to a new study, when our solar system was born 4.6 billion years ago only 8% of the potentially habitable planets were around. So say scientists after studying data collected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler space observatory, which has discovered over 1,000 confirmed exoplanets. But the universe’s best planet-making…
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Solar system model saturn_FEA

Filmmakers Create Epic Scale Model Of The Solar System

Picture the solar system. I’m guessing the image in your head is similar to what you might see in an astronomy text with colorful spheres of different sizes set on a series of nested circles orbiting a large yellow sun. And it all fits neatly on a single page. Or maybe two pages. Nothing could…
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Weird Auroras / Mercury Meets A Dainty Moon / See 5 Evening Planets!

It’s been a fantastic 4 nights of northern lights. For now, Earth’s magnetic environment has returned to quiet conditions. Similar to the run of auroras that began on St. Patrick’s Day, this one finished with the same peculiar, sausage-shaped patches. Last night I noticed a single elongated glow about two fists across in the northern sky in late twilight that slowly…
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Mercury Returns, Planets Align, Life Is Good

Planets are popping up everywhere. We’ve touched on Jupiter and Mars many times the past few months, but recently Saturn and now Mercury have entered the scene. Maybe you’ve noticed Saturn now in the southeastern sky at nightfall. From the northern U.S. and southern Canada, it’s bright but low at nightfall. Saturn reaches opposition a…
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Jupiter Meets The Moon / Two Comets Pass In The Night / Space Station At Dusk

The moving moon keeps things interesting on a very human time scale, gliding about one outstretched fist to the east every night. Last night ice-crystally clouds made a beautiful lunar halo that nearly but not quite touched Jupiter. Tonight the moon will lie to the right of the brilliant planet, while on Monday the two…
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