Leap Along With Lepus On February Nights

Yesterday was Groundhog Day. Since there are no groundhogs in Duluth, the local zoo coaxes out a porcupine named Spike to play the role. If Spike sees his shadow, it’s six more weeks of winter, pretty much a foregone conclusion in Minnesota anyway. But this time around, the zoo folks switched it up and instead…
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Winter Solstice Means Happy Nights For Skywatchers

As I write, the winter solstice is just minutes away. It happens at 10:28 a.m. (Central Time) and marks the moment the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky. It’s been heading southward ever since the summer solstice on June 21st. You don’t notice at first, but it sneaks up on you so that…
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It’s September, Time For My Orion Fix

Each summer, I look forward to seeing Orion return to the morning sky. Hidden by daylight from May through early August, we share the nights instead with the Summer Triangle crew and favorite sky animals Draco the dragon and Delphinus the dolphin. But Earth keeps a movin’ around the sun, displacing one set of constellations for…
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Bye, Bye DST, Hello Orion

Is it that time already? Tonight we throw off the shackles of Daylight Saving Time and turn our clocks back one hour. It’s nice getting that extra hour of sleep, but I never make up for it by going to bed earlier Sunday night. Instead, when it’s 11 0’clock (midnight in DST-speak) I figure it’s still…
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Orion Meets The Moai Monoliths Of Easter Island

Yuri Beletsky, an astronomer and nightscape astrophotographer based in Chile, shared this spectacular photo of Orion bounding over one of the Moai figures on Easter Island. The towering stone figures were carved by the Rapa Nui people between the years 1250 and 1500 A.D. More than 900 were fashioned from stone from a nearby quarry; the tallest stands…
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