Aldebaran Sails On / Crescent Moon Eyes Mercury And Venus Next

Mostly clear skies this morning made for a wonderful last occultation of Aldebaran till 2033. I stood along the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth and contemplated for a moment what that year might look like should I be fortunate enough to live so long. When the image of a man steadying himself with a…
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See A Beautiful Aldebaran Occultation, Last One For 15 Years

When the moon covers a bright star it’s called an occultation. There have been 49 occultations of Aldebaran in a row every month since Jan. 29, 2015. Many of them have occurred in daylight or over distant lands and oceans, so the actual number visible from any one location is much lower. Add in bad…
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Whale Of A Star Occulted By Tonight’s Half-Moon

Like whale watching? A star called Xi2 (ξ2) Ceti (prounced “zye-two”) in the constellation Cetus the Whale will be occulted tonight (Jan. 24) by the half moon. While not a prominent star (only magnitude 4.3), it’s bright enough to watch disappear behind the moon’s dark limb with the smallest of telescopes and possibly even a…
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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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Dazzling Diamond Dust! / Aldebaran Disappears Tonight

I was in the middle of making tea this morning when I looked out the window and saw the most amazing diamond dust halo display. Tea would have to wait. I got in the car instead and drove to the nearest opening to get a good look at the rare phenomenon. Ordinary, ice crystals in…
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