Archive for the ‘AFM*Original Blogs’ Category

Triple-Treat SkyWatching This Week!

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

This week’s night sky offers a solar system triple-treat, with the Geminid meteor shower on Wednesday night/Thursday morning (12/13-12/14) – a close grouping of Jupiter, Mars, and the crescent Moon on Thursday morning (12/14) – and a near-Earth pass of the Geminids’ source, 3200 Phaethon, on Saturday night (12/16).



Geminids, NASA/JPL

The Geminids; so-called because the shower appears to radiate from constellation Gemini; is a typically prolific event, with frequent fireballs and peak rates of dozens of meteors per hour – and the  meteors, themselves, are bright and often leave long trails. This year’s event should be especially fruitful, with a morning crescent moon offering darker skies for better viewing. has already reported 40+ fireballs in the past three days, so peak night could be especially exciting. UPDATE: reported 475 Geminid fireballs, as of 12/14!


The Event ^Horizon 2017/10/06

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

My thanks to StarStrom  for the links and joining in with the show this week …..​s/Indicator_of_extraterrestrial_l​ife_999.html​news.php?release=2017-261&rn=news​.xml&rst=6966​ker-complex-domes-on-moon/​/mars-study-yields-clues-to-possi​ble-cradle-of-life​/a-fresh-look-at-older-data-yield​s-a-surprise-near-the-martian-equ​ator​sa-go-back-future-revive-moon-bas​e-plans-decade-ago/​/30/japan-man-on-the-moon-jaxa/​Atelevision​cexchannel​a-may-extend-beam-s-time-on-the-i​nternational-space-station​ccelconf/l90/papers/th454.pdf​bserving/this-weeks-sky-at-a-glan​ce-october-6-14/


Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Image courtesy of NASA+ESA’s SOHO & Tony Phillips /

It appears that Comet ISON has not survived passage around the Sun.

As whatever remains gets further from the Sun we’ll have more details….

“ISON come, ISON go….”

“The ISON cometh?”

“Now is the ISON of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this Sun…”

The*SkyGuide: Asteroid Apophis Risk Update

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

I’m passing on an inter-office memo that folks may find interesting…  For those who don’t know this particular rock, 99942 Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid that caused a brief period of concern in 2004 because initial observations indicated a probability of up to 2.7% that it would strike the Earth in 2029.  While the chance of an impact in 2029 has not been ruled out, we’re still unable to rule out with certainty that will remain the case in later orbits.