Kepler Uncovers 219 Planet Candidates, 10 The Size Of Earth

Just like that we have 219 new exoplanet candidates of which 10 are near-Earth size and orbiting in the habitable zone of their host suns. That’s the latest haul from the Kepler space telescope team. But it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to Kepler’s total planet haul after four years of peering at 156,000…
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Spot A Young Moon After Sunset Tonight

I apologize for the late notice. I’ve been working on a new book about the sky and completely lost track of time. I just wanted to alert you to tonight’s moon, just 2 days past new. You can watch for it low in the northwestern sky starting about 45 minutes after sundown. A pretty sliver…
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See Saturn, Find Milky Way Treasure

Saturn is the brightest object in the southern sky at nightfall at the moment. It forms a very wide pair with Antares,  a bright, red-hued star one magnitude fainter than Saturn. At 11 p.m. local daylight time, Antares stands due south with Saturn a fist and a half (15°) to its east or left. The bright planets…
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See NASA’s Curiosity Rover Climb Mt. Sharp From Orbit

It’s been almost five years since NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars to investigate whether the planet’s past climate could potentially sustain life. Now we know the answer — Yes! Rolling along hills, dunes and rock-littered landscapes, the rover snaps and sends postcards of its travels every day. I should say every Sol, the name given…
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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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