A Spectacular Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter

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Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on August 23, 2016

Total Solar Eclipse occurs August 21, 2017

One year from today (Monday, August 21, 2017) will be “Eclipse Day,” where a solar eclipse will be visible from all 50 states between approximately 1 PM and 1:30 PM in eastern Iowa.  The last time a total solar eclipse was visible by all 50 states, was in June of 1918.  The last time a solar eclipse was visible by the lower 48 states, was in February 1979.  Click here for complete information on the total solar eclipse.

solar eclipse

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes directly between the Sun & Earth, casting Moon’s shadow onto Earth.  The only time a solar eclipse can occur is when the Moon’s phase is at in New Moon.  

The states that will be able to see the entire (100%) total eclipse are: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  In eastern Iowa, we won’t see the totality of the eclipse, but our area will be able to view 85%-90% maximum eclipse. (View the map below)

Solar Eclipse 2017

It is dangerous to stare directly at the eclipse, so if you want to view it, you will have to have eclipse glasses to protect your eyes.  As the event gets closer, I am sure your local stores will have them available!

Stay tuned.

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Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on August 21, 2016

Full Moon Tonight

The full Moon tonight is called the Full Buck Moon.
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This post was written by Schnack on July 19, 2016

First Day of Summer 2016

The first day of summer is this week.

2016summersolstice

The summer solstice marks the beginning of astronomical summer and is the time when the earth is farthest away from the sun. The position of our planet in its orbit determines the astronomical (ie, what we see on our calendars) seasons. Those dates change from year to year. The summer solstice is also the longest day of the calendar year.

NASA-seasonalvariations

Meteorological seasons are much easier to remember. For meteorologists, the seasons begin on the 1st of June, September, December and March. Meteorological summer always begins on June 1st and indicates the beginning of the three average warmest months of the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere – June, July and August.

Not only is Monday the first day of summer, there is a full moon in the morning. The last time there was a full moon on the first day of summer was in 1948 and the next time this happens will be 2062.

Summer Solstice Strawberry Moon

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Posted under Astronomy, Education, NASA, Weather Trivia

This post was written by Rachael Peart on June 20, 2016

Evening Sky

We get two chances to see the International Space Station this evening.

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Here is live feed from the space station looking at Earth.

While you are outside this evening take a look at the beautiful crescent moon in the western sky.

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The image below is from our Storm Track 7 Live Weather Network cameras of the evening sky.
Weather Bug

 

 

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Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on June 7, 2016

Fireball Over Northeastern US and Southeastern Canada

A fireball raced through the sky around 12:50 AM ET Tuesday, May 17, 2016. The American Meteor Society has 450 reports of the fireball across New England and southeastern Canada. Most of the reports came from Maine. A few reports were as far west as Toronto, Canada. The map below shows the locations of the reports viewing the fireball. Click here for updated stats. There were also some reports of a “sonic boom” from some witnesses.
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The video below is from the Plattsburgh Police Department (New York).

The video below is from the Portland Police Department (Maine).

The video below is from the Burlington International Airport in Vermont.

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Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on May 17, 2016

Full Moon

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This post was written by Schnack on April 21, 2016

Monday Evening Sky

The Moon and Jupiter are hanging out together this evening.

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Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on March 21, 2016

August 21, 2017….Make Plans Now

A map of every eclipse that will cross the United States through 2050. Next year will be AWESOME (Aug 21, 2017).

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Here is a link for specific locations for Aug 21, 2017. Click here

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Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on March 10, 2016

Great Inflight Entertainment

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The total solar eclipse yesterday was the only one of 2016. Most of the total eclipse was going to be seen from the Pacific Ocean. So there were few places that it can be viewed. So if there aren’t too many land locations, what about any commercial flights? Well, what do you know…there was an Alaska Airlines flight going from Anchorage to Honolulu on that day. The original departure time would not have worked to view the eclipse from the plane. So Joe Rao, associate astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, presented Alaska Airlines with what could happen if they pushed back the departure time by 25 minutes. Long story short…they did and the video below is what the passengers of Flight 870 got to see.

Click here to see the complete story on how this came about.

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Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on March 9, 2016