Full Supermoon Tonight

Tonight is the last full moon of the year and also is a “Supermoon”.

The moon will appear bigger and brighter tonight….for those able to see it.

By around midnight, a warm front will be draped in southern Minnesota. That means eastern Iowa will be located in the warm sector ahead of a cold front. Scattered showers with an isolated thunderstorm track through tonight and that chance continues into Monday morning.

If you are looking to view the Supermoon tonight, it looks like you’ll have to travel. Good news? The next Supermoon comes in January 2018 so there isn’t too much wait time between events.

Share

Posted under Astronomy, Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Rachael Peart on December 3, 2017

Last Full Moon of the Year

It’s the last Full Moon of 2017 — and it’s a “Supermoon.”  It gets its name because it is when the Full Moon or New Moon is when the Moon is closest to the Earth in its elliptical orbit.

We have a clear sky to enjoy, and temperatures aren’t too cold.

Share

Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on December 2, 2017

Venus and Jupiter Close Together

Attention astronomy buffs — if you’re up early enough Monday morning (11/13/17), you’ll may be able to see Venus and Jupiter close together, along the east/southeast horizon.

According to space.com, the two planets will be within 17 arc minutes of each other (or pass 0.28 degrees within each other).

The two planets will be closest to one another just after midnight, but won’t be noticeable until close to sunrise (around 6:59 AM).

If you miss it Monday morning, the two planets will appear close for a few more days following.  Click here for more information.

Share

Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on November 12, 2017

Tags: ,

Northern Lights Tuesday Night

On Tuesday evening and night, parts of eastern Iowa may have looked north and seen the Northern Lights.

Northern Lights forecast Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Here is a photo of the northern lights in Bryant in Clinton County from Tuesday night.

 

The forecast for Wednesday evening viewing is similar for eastern Iowa:

Northern Lights forecast Wednesday, November 8, 2017

If you would like to try to see the Northern Lights, look north tonight in areas away from city lights.

Share

Posted under Astronomy, Optics, Photo

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 8, 2017

NASA Needs Naming Help

It has been a lonely trip for the New Horizons probe since it left Pluto in 2015. The NASA spacecraft traveled years with only peeks at distant space objects.

That ends New Year’s Day in 2019.

Artist rendition of New Horizons tracking by the Kuiper Belt object now known as “(486958) 2014 MU69”

New Horizons will track close to a space object in the outskirts of our Solar System. When the probe passes by this object, NASA wants it to have a better name than its current designation as “(486958) 2014 MU69”.

NASA doesn’t think that exactly rolls off of the tongue.

So, they are asking the public for help in naming what will be the most distant space body to ever be explored by a spacecraft. You may either submit a name or vote for current entries before 2PM Central Time on Friday, December 1, 2017.

You may add your name to a form by clicking here or you may vote for previously suggested names by clicking here.

The team plans to pick their favorite from the names with the highest votes.

NASA and the International Astronomical Union plan to formally designate “(486958) 2014 MU69” – or whatever the new name will be – once New Horizons passes by in 2019. We do know that it is a small, ice-covered, object in the Kuiper Belt. Its location is over four billion miles away from Earth. It was discovered in 2014 when it tracked in front of another star. It is probably composed of two smaller bodies that are either stuck together or orbiting very close to each other.

For more information, click here.

To learn more about New Horizons’ mission, click here.

Share

Posted under Astronomy, NASA

This post was written by Rachael Peart on November 7, 2017

What’s Up for November 2017

Share

Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on November 1, 2017

What’s Up for October 2017

Share

Posted under Astronomy, NASA

This post was written by Schnack on October 3, 2017

Northern Lights Possible

A solar geomagnetic storm in space could provide us a chance to get a glimpse of the northern lights Friday and Saturday night.

The best chance to catch a glimpse will be after midnight and before dawn.  Make sure you are away from the city lights, and look in the northerly direction, low in the sky.  The better chance to view the Northern Lights will be across northern Iowa, and especially in parts of Minnesota.  To learn more about the Aurora Borealis, click here.

Share

Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on September 8, 2017

Tags:

The Eclipse as a Satellite saw it

Share

Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2024

Here was a look at the eclipse at different stages across eastern Iowa Monday afternoon.

Now that the eclipse across the US today is over…it is time to look ahead at the next one to cross the country. The next one will cross the US from Texas to Maine on Monday, April 8, 2024 around 2 PM central time.

 

Share

Posted under Astronomy

This post was written by Schnack on August 21, 2017