ALCON 2018 — Connecting People With The Cosmos / Venus-Moon Stunner Tonight

Man, am I tired. But it’s a good tired. I’ve been away the past couple days in Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Minn. at the 2018 Astronomical League Convention (ALCON 2018). It was hosted by the Minnesota Astronomical Society (MAS), one of the friendliest and most engaged bunch of amateur astronomers anywhere. The yearly event brings in…
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Aldebaran Sails On / Crescent Moon Eyes Mercury And Venus Next

Mostly clear skies this morning made for a wonderful last occultation of Aldebaran till 2033. I stood along the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth and contemplated for a moment what that year might look like should I be fortunate enough to live so long. When the image of a man steadying himself with a…
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Enjoy A Venus Aperitif Before Tomorrow Morning’s Occultation

An aperitif is an alcoholic drink you take before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Tonight, a close conjunction of Venus and the star Regulus offers a visual aperitif for tomorrow morning’s occultation / close conjunction of the waning crescent moon and Aldebaran. You’ll find the pair — along with Mercury — low in the…
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First Fragment Of Shattered Asteroid Recovered In Botswana

Before we look at the main news I wanted to share a serendipitous photos of Venus. While taking a picture of the planet’s reflection in a lake near Duluth, Minn. someone on the opposite shot off a few rounds of fireworks that squeezed their way into the 10-second time exposure. Boom, boom! Did I hear…
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Mercury Sneaks Beneath Venus As July Opens

When we weren’t looking, Mercury got its foot in the door. Venus has captured our attention these months, shining like a candle in the west at dusk.  But if you now look about 15° or a fist-and-a-half below and right of the brilliant planet you’ll see another fainter “star.” That’s Mercury. Although it musters a…
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