Summer is the season for Noctilucent Clouds

Full Moon and Perigee Moon converge for a Supermoon

Track down two asteroids, Ceres and Vesta

Planetary pairings of Saturn and Mars, Jupiter and Venus

The Perseid meteor shower peaks

The Equinox restores balance to days and nights

Mars meets its rival, Antares

An early Harvest Moon occurs in September

Look out for Noctilucent Clouds
Full details in the Sky Guide » »

Blue Moon on New Year’s Eve

Posted by BC on December 29th, 2009

Blue MoonDuring this New Year’s Eve, Blue Moon will occur. The previous Blue Moon on New Year’s Eve occurred in 1990, and the next will be in 2028. A usual Blue Moon happens at some time in every 2.5 years.

What is Blue Moon? The meaning has changed over the past 400 years, but the modern definition is this: Blue Moon is the second Full Moon in a month.

Santa Tracker

Posted by BC on December 22nd, 2009

For those of you who want to follow Santa Claus as he journeys across the world, here is a link to the NORAD Santa Tracker. It has some games and fun stuff for children of all ages.

Winter Solstice

Posted by BC on December 16th, 2009

equinox - wikipediaWinter solstice occurs on 21 December 2009. An Earth solstice occurs when the axial tilt is at the greatest in relation to our Sun. During winter solstice, the North Pole is pointing as far away from Sun as possible. This point in time is when the Sun is the farthest south we see it, and it is also when we have our shortest day. Temperatures are generally reaching colder levels because of the lack of sunlight, and anyone north of the Tropic of Cancer feel the chill. People in the Southern Hemisphere feel the opposite effect.
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Cosmos in the Classroom

Posted by BC on December 16th, 2009

If you are an astronomy educator, professional, or enthusiast, you might be interested in attending the 2010 ASP (Astronomical Society of the Pacific) Meeting. The 122nd annual meeting of the ASP will be held July 31-August 4 at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

The conference is for educators, kindergarten through college, and other people interested in the latest information in astronomy. Hands-on workshops, papers, posters and presentations will be continuous throughout the conference. More information on Cosmos in the Classroom can be found at the ASP site.

Solar Cycle 24 Sunspots

Posted by BC on December 16th, 2009

Sunspot 1035 - Spaceweather.comSolar Cycle 24 has been slow to build up, but we now have more evidence of its increase in activity. Sunspot 1035 has been increasing in size over the past few days. 1035 had a long-duration C-4 flare resulting in a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) associated with it at 0120 16Dec2009 UT. The CME is sending material toward Earth, and high latitude observers may see auroral displays during the night of 18 December 2009.
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Strange Beam of Light

Posted by BC on December 11th, 2009

Spiral Beam - Spaceweather.comOn December 09, a strange beam of light bewildered many observers in Norway. The light was a giant spiral that started out green and changed colors. It was thought to be a form of aurora, but aurora watchers had never seen a feature like the spiral. Many people saw the light, and it was widely documented in photographs and video.

The beam of light turned out to be a malfunctioning suborbital Russian rocket sent from a submarine in the White Sea. You can see photographs and video at spaceweather.com.

Spirit Still Making Discoveries

Posted by BC on December 3rd, 2009

Spirit - NASA Spirit has had problems for around half of the time it, and Opportunity, have been roaming the surface of Mars. Spirit has been roaming in reverse since 2006, and it is again spinning its wheels along a ridge in a place called “Troy”.

Being stuck has been a benefit to research scientists. Spirit has spun its wheels and dug up some new, revealing information about water cycles on Mars. You can read the full article on the NASA site.

ATLANTIS STS-129 Launch and Ascent Video

Posted by Lydia on November 29th, 2009

ATLANTISThis twelve minute video catalogs STS-129 launch and ascent. Enjoyable background music accompanies the video which is artistically filmed in split screen format. May you enjoy this video. Special thanks to Mike Interbartolo and the SE&I imagery team at Johnson Space Center. LL/

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