What’s That Bright Star At Dawn?

Several people have asked me in recent days what that bright “star” is shining near the sun at dawn. It’s Venus, brightest of the planets. Venus was in inferior conjunction with the sun on March 25, the date it wrapped up its evening sky run. During inferior conjunction, a planet passes between the Earth and sun…
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Earth Peeps Out From Saturn’s Rings

You may not have seen it unless you were out very late last night, but the aurora did come around. It flared into a G2 moderate storm a few hours later than predicted. Looking back at the rhythmic expansion and contraction of the auroral oval, 3 a.m. CDT would have been the perfect to be out.…
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Mostly Saturn With A Chance Of Auroras

Do we have any bread bakers out there? Runners? Tomorrow morning, assuming clear weather, they (and anyone else inclined) will see the waning gibbous moon and Saturn stand together in the southern sky an hour or two before sunrise. Both are in the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius the Archer. Sagittarius and neighboring Scorpius are summertime groups…
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Comet 41P In The Dragon’s Gaze / Saturn’s Flying Saucer Moon

Now that the waning gibbous moon rises after 11 o’clock, we’ve got an expanding dark sky window to catch up with 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak. When we last left the comet, it was sailing across the Big Dipper and visible as a 6th magnitude smudge-ball in binoculars. It passed closest to Earth on April 1 at 13 million miles.…
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Get A Load Of Saturn’s Moon Pan — Weird!

I like my eggs over easy but would never have guessed I could order up a moon that way. I mean look at it. Nature offers up possibilities no human could ever dream of. Pan is Saturn’s second-innermost moon and orbits inside the planet’s outer A-ring. Its gravity has cleared a lane in that ring called the…
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