Post by: David Dickinson
It’s a shooting gallery out there. The spattered face of Earth’s Moon and large impact sites such as Meteor Crater outside of Flagstaff Arizona remind us that we still inhabit a dangerous neighborhood. But despite the inevitable cries for the “End of the World of the Week,” humanity can breathe a collective sigh of relief next Wednesday on April 19th, when asteroid 2014 JO25 passes safely by the Earth.
Had your fill of binocular comets yet? Thus far this year, we’ve had periodic comets 2P/Encke, 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková and 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák all reach binocular visibility above +10th magnitude as forecasted. Now, we’d like to point out a surprise interloper in the dawn sky that you’re not watching, but should be: Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy.
Ready for the “Great American Eclipse?” We’re now less than six months out from the long-anticipated total solar eclipse spanning the contiguous United States from coast-to-coast. And while folks are scrambling to make last minute plans to stand in the path of totality on Monday, August 21st 2017 a unique project seeks seeks to document the view across the entire path.
‘Tis the season… eclipse season, that is, as an annular solar eclipse marks the end of the first cycle of two for 2017. And although the annular path for this eclipse passes some sparsely populated parts of the southern hemisphere, we just might get some amazing live views, courtesy of modern technology and some intrepid observers willing to adventure trek after the shadow of the Moon.
In the southern hemisphere this weekend in the ‘Land of Oz?’ Are you missing out on the passage of Comet 45/P Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, and the penumbral lunar eclipse? Fear not, there’s an astronomical event designed just for you, as the Moon occults (passes in front of) the bright star Regulus on the evening of Saturday, January 11th.