Jupiter And Sirius Seesaw In Spring

Last night, students in my astronomy class and I watched Sirius, the sky’s brightest star, twinkle low in the southwestern sky at dusk. As the April sun spreads its warmth, winter stars flee to the west. Spring stars and planets pushing up from the east seem eager to replace them. Right now, you can watch…
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Hunt Is On For Sun’s Lost Siblings

Did you know that the sun once had brothers and sisters? Like most stars, it was born in a nebula, a cloud of gas and dust that collapsed under its self-gravity to form a cluster of stars. That all happened 4.6 billion years ago. Earth’s sky back then would have been positively glowing from all…
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Venus Meets The Pleiades — Come See!

I hope you’re having a great start to Earth Day. We’re all sunshine and 56° here in Duluth, Minn. The view through the window makes me want to get up and abandon writing this very second. Before I do, let me tell you about Venus and the Pleiades. They’re moving in each other’s direction like…
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Celebrate Earth Day With The Lyrid Meteor Shower

Want to get an early start on Earth Day celebrations? Set your alarm for 3 a.m. tomorrow morning and spend an hour watching the annual Lyrid meteor shower. I’ll be out there — as long as the forecast holds. The moon sets around 1 a.m., so you can begin watching any time after. The closer to…
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Aurora Kicks Into Gear Overnight — More Possible Tonight

Space weather forecasters expected auroras tonight, but they arrived a night early and put on a great show till dawn. I noticed a slight glow low in the northern sky around 9:30, so I packed up the telescope and drove to a dark spot. At 10 o’clock, the crescent moon was still bright in the…
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