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Comet Pan-STARRS

March 5, 2013 The closing of the Isthmus of Panama, cutting off the equatorial flow between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, was just about complete 5 million years ago when, in the far reaches of the solar... more »»

Danger and beauty

February 19, 2013 Just four days ago, we dodged a bullet ... figuratively. An asteroid named 2012 DA14 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 17,000 miles and traveling at 4.8 miles per second. more »»

The brighter stars

January 22, 2013 You may have already noticed that the sun is setting later and later as the days go on. more »»

Changes among the stars

January 8, 2013 On the last day of 1919, revelers gathered to toast 1920 as a new, 5-foot-diameter iron ball lit with 100 25-Watt light bulbs was lowered down the flagpole of One Times Squar. more »»

The darkness at hand

November 27, 2012 In one stroke, it just got a lot darker. Standard Time returns. The sun now rises and sets one hour earlier. That’s not really true. We just make up the time of day. more »»

Looking up to the cold

November 13, 2012 Welcome back to our exploration of the wilderness above, a deep wilderness that stretches our imaginations with each new object we discover. more »»

Summer night sky events to look forward to

April 17, 2012 This is my last column for the summer. After this, Eye on Invasives by Hilary Smith will fill this every-other-Tuesday slot, so let me tell you about astronomical summer events and program. more »»

Be on the lookout tonight: Pleiades is in sight

April 3, 2012 The weather forecast says we should enjoy clear skies tonight. So just as it darkens after sunset, grab a pair of binoculars and look to Venus in the western sky. more »»

Mars rises in spring sky

March 20, 2012 As Jupiter sinks into the west at sunset, a smaller, nearer solar system neighbor rises in the east: Mars. more »»

Mercury in the night’s sky

March 6, 2012 This month, Mercury makes one of its fleeting appearances in the evening sky. It swung around the far side of the sun on Feb. 7 and has been slowly rising into the sunset sky. more »»

The shining —what’s twinkling above

February 21, 2012 The moon will be new at 5:36 this evening. That means it will be aligned with the sun in our sky and, thus, invisible. more »»

Long winter nights slowly fading away

February 7, 2012 After the long nights of December and early January, the sun’s northward motion is bringing longer days to the Adirondacks, beginning to awaken the land from its winter slumber, starting with the... more »»

Signals from beyond Earth

January 24, 2012 Before you read this, if you have access to an FM radio, tune through the frequencies until you find one that has very little signal and is mostly static. more »»

Venus in the night’s sky

January 5, 2012 After passing behind the sun last August, Venus has swung out to the east of the sun as it comes around toward Earth. more »»

Winter soltice

December 13, 2011 It is the darkest time of year. The earliest sunset for the Adirondacks occurred on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 4:19 p.m. (on a flat horizon). more »»

Viewing opportunity in early morning darkness

November 29, 2011 Many of us have the opportunity to leave for work before sunrise in December and January, and it’s worth pausing to view the objects that will move into the evening sky through the winter. more »»

Jupiter shines bright on these cold nights

November 15, 2011 As the wind sharpens with cold and the nights lengthen, Jupiter will again illuminate a dark part of the sky and accompany us through the winter. more »»

Summer constellations

April 19, 2011 As night retreats before the northward march of the sun, the winter stars fade over the western horizon. So, too, this column will fade into the bright evenin. more »»

New things to see as spring/summer approaches

April 5, 2011 The winter sky will disappear abruptly as the apparent westward motion of the stars meets the sun’s northward motion lengthening the day. By the end of May, Orion will set before the sky darkens. more »»

Springing ahead

March 22, 2011 After “springing ahead” into Daylight Saving Time, evening darkness comes much later in the Adirondacks. more »»



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