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December 12, 2018: 46P/Wirtanen Comet

Posted by Jandyre Garcia on

December 12, 2018: 46P/Wirtanen Comet

The 46P/Wirtanen Comet may brighten enough in December to be spotted easily with the unaided eye. If it does attain naked-eye visibility, it will be the brightest comet seen from the Northern Hemisphere in more than five years. The icy interloper will reach perihelion—its closest approach to the sun—on December 12 and will be traveling through the bright winter constellation Taurus, the bull. Only four days after it slingshots around the sun, the comet will make its closest approach to Earth, coming within 7.2 million miles of the planet on its way toward the outer solar system. At this point,...

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August 12-13, 2018: Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted by Jandyre Garcia on

August 12-13, 2018: Perseid Meteor Shower

Considered one of the most intense annual meteor showers, the Perseids regularly produce up to 60 shooting stars an hour at their peak. This year promises to be particularly good in terms of performance, since the peak will coincide with a dark, moonless sky on the night of August 12 and into the predawn hours of August 13. The thin crescent moon will set during the early evening, creating excellent viewing conditions across the Northern Hemisphere.

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July 27, 2018: Mars at Its Brightest

Posted by Jandyre Garcia on

July 27, 2018: Mars at Its Brightest

On the same date as the total lunar eclipse, Mars will seem to glide close to the moon just as it reaches its peak visibility for the year. The red planet will be at opposition, when it sits opposite to the sun in the sky, from our perspective. During opposition, Mars will look like a super-bright orange star in the southern sky. Mars does not have a perfectly circular orbit around the sun, so the red planet gets nearer and farther from Earth over time. This year, Mars will be especially close to Earth shortly after opposition, coming within 35.8...

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July 15, 2018: Moon Meets Venus

Posted by Jandyre Garcia on

July 15, 2018: Moon Meets Venus

At sunset, watchers should look for the thin waxing crescent moon to appear in a close encounter with the planet Venus low in the southwestern sky. North American onlookers will be best positioned to see the two worlds at their closest.

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Viewing The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse In Oregon

Posted by Jandyre Garcia on

The total solar eclipse of 2017 on August  21 will first make landfall on Newport, Oregon. There are two major viewing parties scheduled. In Salem, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will be holding a viewing at the state's fairgrounds. Farther along in Madras, OR, the SOLARFEST will be held.  To properly view the total solar eclipse and not damage your eyes, check out these eclipse sunglasses.

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