Back on New Year's Day, 2019, the world got its first glimpses of MU69, a tiny rock orbiting our Sun almost a billion miles farther out than Pluto, in the heart of the Kuiper Belt. This rock represented our first up-close look at such a distant solar system object. Though it dwells in the same…Read more Inspiration From An Interplanetary Snowman
Imagine, for a moment, what the world would have been like in the 15th and 16th centuries, if Magellan, de Gama, Cortez, Columbus, and all the other seafaring European explorers heading out for "the New World" knew exactly what they were in for. If, Viking exploration aside, the entire European population was aware not only…Read more Goodbye, Kepler
Wow, there's a lot of cool stuff going on in the night sky this week. I can't wait til this pattern of East Coast thunderstorms lets me see it! Let me give a quick rundown, in the order of my own particular interest and excitement. Your mileage may vary. Mars at Opposition Mars is back,…Read more The Moon, Mars, a Comet, and Maybe a Fireball (Astronomy: Week of 7/22/18)
As a quick followup to my post last week about Mercury being at elongation (that was back on Thursday, July 12) - I failed to mention, because I didn't know, that the brand new baby moon would be right next to Mercury on Saturday night (the 14th). Here's what I saw: Mercury is actually fairly…Read more Mercury and the Moon
Hey all, a quick one this week - I'm out in the woods (hooray!) this week with no (little) internet. A nice tradeoff, honestly... BUT, as I've been out this week under clear skies, looking at Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars (midnight or so), I've also caught a glimpse of Mercury. All five (six if…Read more Mercury at Elongation (Astronomy: Week of 7/8/18)
Not so long ago, we had no planets in our evening skies. Now Venus hangs in the west, Jupiter is bright and high in the south, and starting tonight, Saturn will be joining the party. Saturn is at opposition - directly opposite the Sun, rising as it sets - on June 27, just as the…Read more Saturn Joins The Party (Astronomy: Week of 6/24/18)
Around here, meteorologically at least, spring has been sort of hard to get a grip on. We've gone from weeks of rain (very spring-y), to cold dreary late-winter holdouts interspersed with days of mid-summer 90-degree temps and high humidity. It's been a confusing time -- and so it's hard to really get a grip on…Read more Summer?