Wishing You A Merry Ride On The Solstice Roller Coaster

Happy first day of summer! Last night at 11:24 p.m. CDT, the sun reached the top of its roller coaster ride across the sky, marking the summer solstice. That makes today the first full day of the new season. Around here it coincides with the start of what will soon be a riot of daises.…
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Crescent Supermoon Smiles In The West Tonight

You normally hear the term supermoon applied to an unusually close (and large) full moon, but the truth is, a supermoon can occur during other phases, too. The closest supermoons happen during full and new moon, the two times a month when the sun, Earth and moon are lined up in a row. This month’s supermoon occurred on…
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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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The Face Of Earth-Approacher 2014 JO25 / Sun Blows Off Some ‘Steam’

Tonight, we finally get a chance to see Earth-approaching asteroid 2014 JO25 canter across the sky a day hours after its closest approach to Earth. You’ll need a 3 or 4-inch telescope to find and track it, and I hope you do. Unfortunately, my skies will be cloudy, so if you see this giant hurtling rock, please…
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Venus Returns At Dawn / Sun Gets Busy

Back so soon? Venus, lately of the evening sky, has returned to view in the morning sky after speeding north of the sun during conjunction on March 25. The transition from morning to evening is swift because the planet is between the Earth and sun and relatively close to us — about 26 million miles.…
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