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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OSIRIS-REx Captures Unique View Of Earth, Moon And Pleiades

I do enjoy a big picture perspective. You too? As part of an engineering test, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image of the Earth and Moon using its navigation camera on January 17 from a distance of 39.5 million miles (63.6 million km). When the camera snapped the image, the spacecraft was moving away from…
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Does The Moon Orbit The Earth Or The Sun?

For your viewing pleasure, here’s another look at our planet and satellite from a distant vantage point. The composite image was made by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx’s spacecraft on Oct. 2, 2017 and released this week. The spacecraft was about 3 million miles (5 million km) from Earth at the time and en route to its target, the…
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If You Dug A Deep Enough Hole, Would You End Up In China?

Ever wonder what’s on the opposite side of the planet from where you live? China maybe? Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, you’d be splashing about in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia. Places on the globe that are diametrically opposite one another are called “antipodes.” If you draw a straight line…
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Earth Peeps Out From Saturn’s Rings

You may not have seen it unless you were out very late last night, but the aurora did come around. It flared into a G2 moderate storm a few hours later than predicted. Looking back at the rhythmic expansion and contraction of the auroral oval, 3 a.m. CDT would have been the perfect to be out.…
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