Chandra’s X-ray Eyes Behold Catastrophe

15 years ago to the day, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory opened its eyes to the high-energy universe. It was launched aboard the space shuttle Columbia and entered a long elliptical orbit that takes it more than a third of the distance to the moon before returning to its closest approach to Earth of 9,942 miles. This specially…
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See A Lunar Crater Arc Tonight / 4-comet Tableau / Space Station Flybys

If you step outside tonight you’ll see a bright waxing gibbous moon below the Great Square of Pegasus. Far to the moon’s lower right shines Fomalhaut, the only bright star in the southern half of the sky during early evening hours. While the moon looks smooth and pasty to the naked eye, binoculars will show…
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Rayed Craters Make Tonight’s Full Moon Spectacular

Tonight’s the Full Hunter’s Moon, so be sure to spend a bit of time polishing up your moon tan with a stroll outdoors. A full moon is always directly opposite the sun in the sky and rises around sunset.  For Duluth, Minn., moonrise is at 5:57 p.m. or 32 minutes before sunset. To find moonrise…
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A Full Buck Moon And Stroke-of-midnight Asteroid Encounter

Look how nicely the asteroid Vesta is coming into focus in this picture taken by the Dawn spacecraft on July 9 from a distance of 26,000 miles. In addition to craters, numerous troughs are visible around the raised ‘bump’ below center. It’s only an educated guess, but this area looks like the site of the…
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Take The Plunge Into That Burnin’ Ring Of Fire

Yesterday on a walk in Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve near my home, a flock of migrating nighthawks blew by headed south. I identified them right away by their white wing patches. Birds on the move, cool mornings lavish with dew. I like these hints of fall. Through the telescope last night, the nearly 12-day-old moon…
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