A Case Of Conjunction-Itis / Mars Dust Storm Global But Weakening

Over the next week, the waxing and then waning moon will pass three bright planets — Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. First to get a visit will be Jupiter both tonight and tomorrow night (June 23). Saturn follows on June 27 and Mars on the 30th. The moon moves faster across the sky because it’s so…
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Venus Gets A Visit From The Moon

Look west tonight and you’ll see Venus has company. A thin, 2-day-old crescent will dangle below the brilliant planet at dusk. The sight will be a beautiful one and worth catching while you’re out and about. If clouds interfere, a slightly thicker, brighter moon will appear to the left of Venus on Saturday evening. Venus…
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Mars Gets Closer And Closer, Bigger And Brighter

Man oh man, Mars is sure getting bright and closing in, too. Now at magnitude –1.2, the Red Planet shines second only to Sirius, the brightest star.  Damian’s montage (above) beautifully illustrates how much bigger (and brighter) the planet has become since the start of the year. Although Mars rises red as radishes around 11…
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Mars Rover Drills Into ‘Duluth’ And The Moon Joins Jupiter

Last week, we visited the 3-foot slab of rock the Mars Curiosity rover team named “Duluth.” The rover’s drill, which bores a hole in rocks and then gathers up a sample of the tailing for analysis, has had mechanical problems since October 2016. Engineers cooked up a new way to drill called Feed Extending Drilling…
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Dear Moon, Please Take Us Porrima

I like working the moon to death. Because it “gets around,” we’ve used it on previous occasions to help us find bright stars and planets. Tonight, the waxing gibbous sits just 1° above and left of one of the finest double stars in the sky — Porrima. Also known as Gamma (γ) Virginis, Porrima is…
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