Eye To The Sky

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Eye to the Sky-Column: Asteroids, comets have similar origins, different traits

The European Space Agency has a satellite orbiting a comet, and NASA is planning a mission to an asteroid. I often get asked, What is the difference between a comet and an asteroid?

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Eye to the Sky-Column: Stargazers can take Taurus by the horns in February

If you found Orion on the few clear nights we’ve had this month, then finding its neighbor, the constellation Taurus, will be easy.

Eye to the Sky-Column - Winter’s star constellation opens door to discovery

The winter solstice — the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere — occurred last Sunday at 2:57 p.m. local time. This is good news and bad news for astronomers.

Eye to the Sky-Winter owes gratitude to celestial latitude

You may have noticed the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. You may have also noticed the sun appears to be moving south, getting closer to the southern horizon each day.

Eye to the Sky-, Local-Long, strange trip to comet landing for Europe spacecraft

The European Space Agency is about to pull off a first — landing a spacecraft on the nucleus of a comet.

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Eye to the Sky-Solar wind shapes, colors northern lights

In the past few weeks I’ve been asked several questions about the northern lights, also called the aurora borealis. In this month’s column I will answer some of these questions and introduce you to this mysterious and unpredictable display of light in the night sky.

Eye to the Sky-Website offers launchpad for volunteer astronomers

When you see images and hear reports from NASA missions, do you ever wish that you could be part of the team? If so, your wish may be coming true.

Eye to the Sky-Two more supermoons will brighten summer nights

If you missed the supermoon on July 12, you’ll get second and third chances to see one on Aug. 10 and Sept. 9.

Eye to the Sky-Stars serve as Earth’s timekeeper

All objects in the sky appear to rise in the east and set in the west. The stars are not really moving; it is the rotation of the Earth from west to east that causes this apparent clockwise motion. The speed of this rotation is so constant that it can be used to keep time.

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Eye to the Sky-Clear summer nights offer stories in constellations

As summer approaches, the nights will be getting clearer and we will have better chances to view the stars. This is a good time to learn some of the stellar constellations.

Eye to the Sky-Mimicking the sun, stars also rise and set

The distances between the Earth and the stars are so great that the positions of the stars, relative to each other, will not significantly change in your lifetime.

Eye to the Sky-Total lunar eclipse coming up around tax day

The first total eclipse of the moon visible in North America since 2011 will occur April 14.

Eye to the Sky-If you think winter's long, try it on Mars

The Earth has four seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter. Do other planets in the solar system have seasons? Before answering that question, let’s review what causes the Earth’s seasons.

Eye to the Sky-Mars to appear much bigger, brighter in spring

This spring will bring us the best view of Mars in seven years.

Eye to the Sky-January is Venus’s month to shine for Earthlings

During December when you looked to the southwest at sunset, you saw a bright star about 20 to 30 degrees above the horizon. It wasn’t really a star, but the planet Venus.

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