June 5 and 6: Transit Of Venus Across The Sun

The transit of Venus is a very rare phenomenon and will next occur on June 5 and 6, 2012. If you happen to miss this extraordinary event, you will not have another opportunity within your lifetime since the next occurrence won’t be until the year 2117. Continue reading

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May 5, 6 – Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower

Meteors showers are a sight to behold, even though they typically don’t have a long duration.
Nevertheless, it is every night sky watcher’s dream to see meteors as they streak across the night skies. If you are one of the people who love meteors, then make sure you are out on the nights of May 5 and May 6. On these days, you’ll be able to witness the Eta Aquarids meteor shower. Continue reading

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Astronomy Day 2012

This year’s astronomy day will be celebrated on April 28. This day will be celebrated with the theme entitled “Bringing Astronomy to the People”. Although Astronomy Day historically has no specific dates assigned with it, it still occurs on a Saturday sometime between mid-April and mid-May. The only significance is that it has to take place before the onset of the first quarter moon. Astronomy Day, which is recognized by the International Astronomical Union, also marks the start of “Astronomy Week”. Continue reading

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April 15 – Saturn at Opposition

On April 15, 2012, the planet Saturn will be in opposition. This means that the planet will be opposite to the sun when viewed from the earth. Being opposite to the sun means that it will rise when the sun sets and set when the sun rises. The fact that Saturn will be in opposition means that it is closest to the sun and, thus, will be a spectacular view in the night sky. The planet Saturn belongs to a group of planets known as the superior planets. Other members of the superior planet family include Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Uranus. The best time to view this group of planets is during opposition. Continue reading

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Lyrids Meteor Shower

The Lyrid meteor shower may not be one of the most intense meteor showers you can have in the night sky, however, it is still a sight to see. The Lyrids meteor shower typically starts on April 16 and continues through to the April 26. This shower reaches its peak on the 21 and 22 of the month. During maximum intensity, an average of 10 meteors per hour can be observed. Continue reading

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A Spectacular Event is Coming to the Sky Soon

A great spectacle is coming to the sky soon. If you are an adherent of astronomy, you are probably aware that the two brightest planets are Jupiter and Venus. Just imagine the spectacle in the sky when the two will be within 3 degrees of each other. It will definitely be something worth looking forward to on the evening of March 14. To put the “icing on the cake”, the crescent moon will join Venus and Jupiter on the evenings of March 24 and 25. During these dates, make sure to stay out for up to four hours after the sun has set. These are two opportunities that you won’t want to miss. Continue reading

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Mars at Opposition: The Best View of Mars on March 3

Saturday, March 3, 2012 is a date to mark on your calendar. This is the day when Mars will be in opposition with the earth. When such a position occurs, it is very easy to see planet Mars in the sky even with the naked eye. Continue reading

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Best Chance to See Mercury

The “elusive” planet will no longer be elusive in the coming days. As a matter of fact, you have the best time to see planet Mercury from February 20th all the way to March 12th – that is if all factors remain constant. According to astronomers, this will be possible since Mercury will be far off from the sun’s glares. The best time to see mercury will be on March 5th. On this date, Mercury will have the greatest elongation from the sun having a bright magnitude of approximately -1.

Why is Mercury so Elusive?

Mercury is the smallest plant in the solar system. Mercury is so elusive that even the great German astronomer Johannes Kepler never saw it although he knew of its existence. As a matter of fact, not so many astronomers have seen this planet. The reason why this planet is elusive is because Mercury is quite close to the sun and, as a result, its brightness is always dimmed by the sun’s rays. With this fact, the best chance of seeing Mercury is when it is furthest from the sun or when there is a solar eclipse. That said, Mercury is best viewed at sunset or sunrise. During sunrise, it is at maximum western elongation. During sunset, Mercury is at maximum eastern elongation.

More on planet Mercury

Mercury has fascinated human beings since time in antiquity. Historical documents show that the first record of Mercury observations dates back to the 4th century B.C. It was this fascination that made the Greek astronomers believe that Mercury was in-fact, two separate objects. One of which was visible during the sunrise while the other part was visible during sunset. They christened the former Apollo while the latter was christened the name Hermes. The modern day name Mercury was derived from the Romans who saw the planet as a swift messenger to the Gods.

Mercury has a similar appearance to the Moon. It has no substantial atmosphere; it is heavily cratered, and has no natural satellites. Mercury complete orbit takes approximately 87.969 days. Together with Venus, Mercury is known as the inner planets since they orbit nearer to the sun compared to other planets in the solar system. Mercury orbit has the highest eccentricity compared to the rest of the planets in the solar system. During the day, temperature reach highs of 427 degrees while during the night, temperatures reach lows of -183 degrees centigrade this makes survival of any species impossible.

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Astronomy Calendar 2012

Astronomy 2012 Calendar

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The sheer size of the universe makes one thing very certain: There will never be a lack of objects to photograph and make a calendar from. And the astonishing beauty of our cosmos makes the 2012 astronomy calendar a piece of art, not merely science.
Click on the picture and get it now!

Astronomy calendars are a perfect introduction to science and everyone – not only the physics freaks – will immediately recognize the beauty of our universe.

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An Astrophotography Masterpiece of Milky Way

While astrophotography often sends our jaw going down with awe this is extraordinary art: It was created adding serieses of long exposure pictures to a movie, a technique called time lapse photography. As both the camera is moved a bit between shots and also the stars move on the sky over time, a compelling dynamics is created. Watch this movie that shows our milky way in a very dramatic environment:

If you want to learn more about the movie, have a look over here on Randy Halversons site:

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