Solar Odyssey — The Parker Probe’s Sizzling Mission To The Sun

NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe on Aug. 12 on a mission to a star — our very own sun! You’d think it would be easy to drop down to the center of the solar system under the power of the sun’s gravity. Like rolling a rock downhill. No, no, no. It actually takes 55…
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After The Perseids, A Beautiful Moon-Venus Conjunction

I really enjoyed the Perseid meteor shower and hope you had a chance to see it, too. My daughter Maria came over and we reclined in the driveway talking and watching quietly till 1 in the morning. Because I fiddled with the camera she saw a few more meteors than I. Her final count was…
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ALCON 2018 — Connecting People With The Cosmos / Venus-Moon Stunner Tonight

Man, am I tired. But it’s a good tired. I’ve been away the past couple days in Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Minn. at the 2018 Astronomical League Convention (ALCON 2018). It was hosted by the Minnesota Astronomical Society (MAS), one of the friendliest and most engaged bunch of amateur astronomers anywhere. The yearly event brings in…
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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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Enjoy A Venus Aperitif Before Tomorrow Morning’s Occultation

An aperitif is an alcoholic drink you take before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Tonight, a close conjunction of Venus and the star Regulus offers a visual aperitif for tomorrow morning’s occultation / close conjunction of the waning crescent moon and Aldebaran. You’ll find the pair — along with Mercury — low in the…
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