Old Moon Meets Saturn At Dawn / Mars Rivals Antares

Saturn’s back! I spotted the ringed one low in the southeastern sky around 6:15 Friday morning. It’s the final runner in a planetary relay race that starts with Jupiter in the south and Mars in the southeast. Saturn takes the baton to the dawn finish line. Because of its low altitude you might not notice…
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Dust Storms May Be Linked To Erosion Of Mars’ Atmosphere

Don’t be surprised if you hear the god of war’s name dropped in casual conversation at the local burger joint this summer. 2018 promises to be the Year of Mars. On July 31, Mars will come closest to Earth since 2003 during its perihelic opposition. Every 15 or 16 years, Mars reaches perihelion (closest to the…
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Eight Places To Get Ice Cubes On Mars

My kids and wife stay properly hydrated. They always have a bottle at the ready. I drink water when I think of it and would never pass a hydration test. Water is crucial to life. If we ever build a colony on Mars, we’ll need ready access to to Martian ice that can be melted…
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Close Conjunctions Make Us Wonder: Do Planets Occult Planets?

If there’s such a thing as a pleasant 18 below zero morning, today was it. Mars and Jupiter mesmerized. The two were so close they looked identical to a double star viewed in a telescope. How fun to just look up and split them with eyes alone. My friend Greg, who lives in northern Wisconsin,…
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Mars And Jupiter RSVP

I mentioned the Jupiter-Mars conjunction up a couple days ago, but figured it was worth another reminder. Tomorrow, (Sat. Jan. 6) and Sunday morning, Jan. 7, they’ll be closest in the dawn sky. The two planets were just ⅔° apart earlier today; for the next two mornings, their separation will be less than half that.…
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