Venus Is HOT Right Now

I went out Saturday morning to look for the recently-discovered comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto). It beckoned from the the tail of Hydra the Sea Serpent. I found it with some difficulty because the comet was neither bright nor high up in the sky. While I like bright comets best, they’re all welcome in my front…
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Humble Aurora Peeps Out Tonight Jan. 4-5

The forecast was for minor aurora earlier tonight. So I took a walk and could faintly see a little glow down along the northern horizon. That was around 8 p.m. (Central Time). I returned to the same spot around 10:45 p.m. to find a neat little display of faint rays low in the northern sky…
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China’s Amazing Landing On The Far Side Of The Moon

China became the first country to make a successful soft-landing on the far side of the moon this week. The Chang’e 4 spacecraft touched down in Von Kármán crater  at 8:26 p.m. CST on Jan. 2 (Jan. 3 Beijing time). Chang’e 4 entered orbit on Dec. 8 but had to wait for the sun to rise at…
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“Headless Snowman” Ultima Thule Shines In 3D

I thought you’d appreciate a brief update from today’s New Horizons’ press conference about the Ultima Thule flyby. While there were no new images received and released, the mission team did combine two photos taken at slightly different times to create a stereo or 3D image of the object. If you have a pair of…
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Ultima Thule More Clearly Now — Two Spheres Touching!

Look at that thing. Ultima Thule is clearly two separate objects, both nearly spherical, that came together into one body. Each is so distinctive, mission scientists have split the name and assigned “Thule” to the smaller one and “Ultima” to the other. The bodies seem to be barely touching but are in fact firmly held…
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