Here Comes Comet Heinze for the Holidays

Yeah, we’re still all waiting for that next great “Comet of the Century” to make its presence known. In the meantime, we’ve had a steady stream of good binocular comets over the past year both expected and new, including Comet C/2017 O1 ASASSN1 (name and link), 45/P Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková and Comet 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák (links). Now, another newcomer Comet Heinze is set to bring 2017 in over the finish line.

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First Cosmic Event Observed in Both Gravitational Waves and Light

About 130 million years ago, in a galaxy far away, two neutron stars collided. The cataclysmic crash produced gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space and time. This was now the 5th observation of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo collaboration. But this event — called a kilonova […]

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Tales of the King: Watch as the Moon Occults Regulus for North America This Weekend

Up early Sunday morning? Or perhaps, as we often do, you’re “pulling an all-nighter,” out observing until the break of dawn. Well, the clockwork celestial mechanics of the Universe has a treat in store on the morning of October 15th, as the waning crescent Moon occults (passes in front of) the bright star Regulus (Alpha Leonis the “Little King” or “Heart of the Lion”) for the contiguous United States, Mexico and southern Canada.

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Watch a House-Sized Asteroid Pass Close to Earth Tonight (October 11/12)

On Oct. 12, a house-size asteroid will pass quite close to Earth – only 26,000 miles (42,000 kilometers) away. This is just above the orbital altitude of communications satellites and a little over one-tenth the distance to the Moon. But not to fear, it has no chance of hitting Earth. Asteroid 2012 TC4 was discovered […]

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This Weekend: The Moon Photobombs ‘Planet-palooza’ at Dawn

Wondering where are the fleeting inner solar system planets are this month?

While Jupiter and Saturn sink into the dusk on the far side of the Sun this month, the real action transpires in the dawn sky in mid-September, with a complex set of early morning conjunctions, groupings and occultations.

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Watch Asteroid 3122 Florence Zip Past Earth This Weekend

Ready to hunt for low-flying space rocks? We’ve got an interesting pass of a Near Earth Asteroid this upcoming U.S. Labor Day weekend one that just slides over the +10th magnitude line into binocular range.

We’re talking about asteroid 3122 Florence which passes 4.4 million miles from our fair planet (that’s 7 million kilometers, about 18 times the distance from Earth to the Moon) this Friday on September 1st at 12:06 Universal Time (UT)/ 8:06 AM Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT).

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Tales From Totality: Standing in the Shadow of the Moon

They came, they saw, they battled clouds, traffic and strange charger adapters in a strange land. Yesterday, millions stood in awe as the shadow of the Moon rolled over the contiguous United States for the first time in a century. If you’re like us, your social media feed is now brimming with amazing images of yesterday’s total solar eclipse.

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Prelude to Totality: A Final Look at the Total Solar Eclipse

It’s hard to believe: we’re now just one short weekend away from the big ticket astronomical event for 2017, as a total solar eclipse is set to cross over the contiguous United States on Monday, August 21st.

Celestial mechanics is a sure thing in this Universe, a certainty along with death and taxes that you can bet on. There are a few key question marks come eclipse day, however, something that we can only speak with a few intelligent assumptions out 72 hours out.

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A Partial Lunar Eclipse Ushers in Eclipse Season

Live on the wrong continent to witness the August 21st total solar eclipse? Well… celestial mechanics has a little consolation prize for Old World observers, with a partial lunar eclipse on the night of Monday into Tuesday, August 7/8th.

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