Solar Horns at Sunrise: Our Guide to the June 10th Annular Solar Eclipse

annular eclipse

The only annular eclipse of 2021 will produce a fine spectacle across most of North America and Europe.

Got those solar glasses handy from 2017? If skies are clear on the morning of Thursday June 10th, you may once again find good use for them, as an annular ‘ring-of-fire’ eclipse crosses northeastern Canada into the Arctic.

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Amazing Views of Wednesday Morning’s Total Lunar Eclipse

total lunar eclipse

The Moon turned a ruddy hue during this morning’s total lunar eclipse, in one of the top astronomical events of the year.

What a celestial show. Depending on your time zone, you either got up early, stayed up late, or pulled an all-niter last night, all in hopes of catching today’s total lunar eclipse. This event favored the Pacific region, with western North American observers catching the eclipse at sunrise/moonset, and Australia, new Zealand and eastern Asia seeing totality transpiring at moonrise/sunset.

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‘Super-Blood Moon’ Total Lunar Eclipse Set For May 26th

The first total lunar eclipse of 2021 occurs early next week and features the largest Full Moon of the year.

Ready for the lunar eclipse drought to come to an end? It’s been a while since we’ve watched the Moon pass through the Earth’s dark inner shadow, to be sure. 2020 featured four lunar eclipses… all of which were faint penumbrals. In fact, you have to go all the waaaaay back to January 21st, 2019 (remember 2019?) to remember the last total lunar eclipse. But that wait ends next Wednesday morning on May 26th, with a very short total lunar eclipse, centered on the Pacific region.

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Following the Moon for Amazing May Astronomy

Moon and Venus

The May Moon Meets Venus and Mercury, at dusk en route to eclipse season and more.

Wonder where all the solar system action is hiding? While the dusk sky may seem devoid of planets (save for Mars), that’s all about to change this evening. The watch-phrase for astronomy in May 2021 is to ‘follow the Moon’ as it makes several spectacular planetary passes, then kicks off the first eclipse season of the year.

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Catch Comet R4 ATLAS as it Nears Earth

R4 ATLAS

The coming weeks are a great time to catch comet C/2020 R4 ATLAS… while you can.

Looking to do some springtime astronomy? With temperatures warming up in the northern hemisphere in April through May, galaxy season is upon us. At dusk, the area in the Bowl of Virgo asterism rising in the east is rife with clusters of galaxies that spill over into the adjacent constellations of Coma Berenices and Boötes…

But this May, keep an eye out for a fuzzball interloper that is not a galaxy: Comet C/2020 R4 ATLAS.

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Galileo Sunspot Sketches Versus Modern ‘Deep Learning’ AI

Solar flare

A new study turns modern ‘deep learning’ techniques on Galileo’s early sketches of the Sun.

It’s a fascinating thought to consider.

What exactly did the Sun look like, centuries ago? What would we see, if astronomers back in the time of Kepler and Galileo had modern technology monitoring the Sun across the electromagnetic spectrum, available to them?

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New Binocular Nova Cas 2021 Flares in Cassiopeia

Nova Ca 2021

A ‘new star’ erupted into visibility over the past weekend, and continues to brighten.

It began, as all modern astronomical alerts seem to, with one tweet, then two. Early on the morning of Friday, March 19th, we started seeing word that a nova was spotted in the constellation of Cassiopeia the Queen, near its border with Cepheus. At the time, the nova was at magnitude +10 ‘with a bullet,’ and still brightening. A formal notice came that same night from the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) with Alert Notice 735 on the discovery of the first nova in Cassiopeia for 2021, Nova Cassiopeiae 2021, or N Cas 2021.

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Tracking Satellites Through GEOSat Eclipse Season

Geosat flare

You can spot ‘GEOSat’ satellites in far-flung orbits… if you know exactly where and when to look.

Watch the sky long enough, and you’re bound to see one.

Seasoned observers are very familiar with seeing satellites in low Earth orbit, as these modern artificial sky apparitions lit by sunlight grace the dawn or dusk sky. Occasionally, you might even see a flare from a passing satellite, as a reflective solar panel catches the last rays of sunlight passing overhead just right…

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Phobos and Deimos: Two Moons, From One Source?

Phobos

Running the clock back on the enigmatic pair of Martian moons Phobos and Deimos gives researchers insight to their possible origin.

A recent study provides crucial clues on the possible ‘origin story’ for the two tiny moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos.

Modern astronomy provides us with a snapshot, a look at the present state of affairs across the solar system… but what were things like in the distant past? The existence of the two tiny moons seen orbiting Mars presents a particular dilemma for astronomers. Close up, Phobos and Deimos resemble tiny misshapen captured asteroids… but how did they get into the neat, tidy orbits that we see today?

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