November 28 – Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

The penumbral lunar eclipse is scheduled to occur on November 28, 2012. This lunar eclipse will be the second one of its kind of 2012, with the other one being the partial lunar eclipse on June 4. This eclipse will be one among the four eclipses that will occur this year. Continue reading

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October 21, 22 – Orionids Meteor Shower

The Orionids meteor shower is a prolific event that is best observed on October 21 and 22. This meteor shower is just one of the meteor showers associated with the Halley Comet. Another meteor shower associated with the comet is the Eta Aquarids, which peaks in May. Continue reading

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November 17, 18 – Leonids Meteor Shower

The Leonids meteor shower, scheduled to take place on November 17 -18, is one of the most prolific meteor showers you will see in your lifetime. This shower originates from the Comet Tempel-Tuttle. To many meteors lovers, the month of November is of significant importance because it is associated with the return of the Leonids meteor shower. Continue reading

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September 29 – Uranus At Opposition

On September 29, 2012, the planet Uranus will be considered to be “close” to the planet earth. The distance separating the two planets only will be 19.1 AU (1 AU equals approximately 150 million kilometers). This makes the planet Uranus well placed for observation as it lies in the constellation Pisces well above the horizon. Uranus will be at exact opposition with the sun at 7.01 UTC (Universal Coordinated Time). Continue reading

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Time lapse video from the ISS

The name of this website is look at stars – but the opposite direction is very beautiful, too:
A look from the ISS in a stunning time lapse video makes Galileo Galileis quote true:

If you could see the earth illuminated when you were in a place as dark as night, it would look to you more splendid than the moon

The video has a completely different view on auroras and lightnings as well as all the brightly illuminated cities (well this is probably something that Galileo did not anticipate…

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Color photo of Mars surface

If you are not afraid of very large image files (this one is over 9MB large), have a look at this high-resolution picture that the recently landed curiosity rover sent to earth:
http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA16051.jpg
It is the first high resolution pic that Curiosity took, and shows the sourroundings of the rover’s landing site in Gale Crater on Mars.
Don’t ask me what is behind the black bars – maybe NASA had to censor the little green men 😉
No, seriously: The picture is a mosaic and is stitched from many single pictures that the rover took and has already sent to earth. The black spots are missing pictures that are yet to be sent to earth – the picture will then be completed…

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August 24 – Neptune At Opposition

The blue planet of Neptune will be considered at close proximity to earth on August 24, 2012. However, to view this planet during this time you will need a strong telescope. Even though the planet will be the largest and brightest object in the night sky, it will still only appear as a small blue dot unless commercial-grade equipment is utilized. Continue reading

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August 12, 13 – Perseids Meteor Shower

By far, the best meteor shower of 2012 will be the Perseids meteor shower. What will make this particular shower stand out is the fact that there will be up to 60 meteors per hour on both August 12 and 13. After reaching this zenith, the shower begins to decline in number with the last Perseids meteor shower being witnessed on August 22. The sheer volume of meteors that will be seen is something spectacular to behold and promises not to disappoint. Continue reading

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August 6 – Curiosity Rover At Mars

The Curiosity Rover is scheduled to touch down on the red planet of Mars on August 16, 2012. If the landing is successful, the rover will have completed a journey totaling 352 million miles. Not only is the distance extreme, so is the price tag attached to it. The cost of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), whose mission it is to land the rover to collect samples, is an astronomical $2.5 billion. If everything goes as anticipated, it will be a huge advancement for mankind in the quest to understand the planet Mars. Continue reading

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July 28, 29 – Southern Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower

The southern delta aquarids are one of the most predictable meteor shows. They always occur from mid July to mid August with the peak f the shower occurring on July 28 and 29. The contents of this meteor shower originates from the Kreutzt and Marsden sun-grazing comets. The sun-grazing comets are a group of comets that pass very close to the sun, sometimes coming to within a few thousand kilometers of the sun, giving the appearance that they are “grazing” the sun’s surface. These meteors are observed in the debris field left behind by the comet as the planet passes. Continue reading

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