NASA’s Solar Probe Spots Comet NEOWISE and its Two (Maybe Three) Tails

As skywatchers around the world (and even above it!) are capturing increasingly beautiful views of the current naked-eye comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), NASA’s Parker Solar Probe was able to grab a picture from a much different vantage point as it traveled beyond the orbit of Mercury on its way toward a July 11 flyby of…

NASA’s Launching Rockets in Alaska to Study Ozone-Killing Compounds

A Black Brant IX sounding rocket was launched 175 miles high early Friday morning, Jan. 27, 2017, from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Poker Flat Research Range to study levels of nitric oxide in the atmosphere as part of the Polar Night Nitric Oxide Experiment (PolarNOx). “The aurora creates nitric oxide, but in the polar night there is no significant…

What’s So Super About a Supermoon?

You’ve probably heard the news or read the headlines: the full Moon on November 14 will be a “supermoon,” and in fact the biggest and brightest one since 1948 and until 2034. But what does that really mean and what can we expect to see in the night sky? In all honesty it won’t be…

Supermoon Eclipse 2015

Last night a large part of the world’s population was treated to a relatively rare variety of a not-so-rare night sky spectacle: a total lunar eclipse that happened to coincide with the closest perigee Moon (aka “supermoon”) of the year. The last time these scenarios lined up this way was in 1982, and it won’t occur…

Mars Will NOT Be As Big As The Moon In The Night Sky

No, no, no…a thousand times NO: Mars will not become a “second Moon” in the sky on August 27. It won’t this year, it didn’t last year, and it didn’t in the past dozen years since this silly yet strangely perennial cyber-legend (yes I just used the prefix “cyber”) first started circulating on teh interwebz. I don’t know…

Three Worlds, One Shot: a February 2015 Conjunction Event

Did you have clear skies last night? If so, you may have been able to catch the sight above: a conjunction of the crescent Moon and the planets Venus and Mars in the western sky! I captured the photo above with a Nikon D7000 and a Sigma 150-500mm lens. Venus is the brighter object at…

Book Review: The Star Book

If you’re still looking for that last-minute gift for the astronomy fan in your life (and let’s be honest; that may very well be yourself — I won’t tell) may I suggest this little gem: The Star Book: How to Understand Astronomy published by David & Charles. The latest book by amateur astronomer and astrophotographer…

Are You Ready For Saturday’s Supermoon?

Can’t see the video below? Click here. If you think this weekend’s full moon looks larger in the sky than usual, you’re not a lunatic… it IS larger in the sky! 14% larger, to be exact. Why?

NASA: In Pursuit of Light

Can’t see the video below? Click here. Here’s a new video from the folks at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD that will make you fall in love with the Universe…for the first time, or all over again. It’s a good reminder that, even though the shuttles are retired, NASA still has its…