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As we move into the month of June, it’s been 111 years since an explosion rocked a remote and sparsely inhabited region of Siberia, and what caused the blast is still nothing more than speculation.

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At some point in their lives, everyone has been out at night looking at the stars overhead and perhaps on more than one occasion have seen a particularly bright star and asked themselves, “I wonder what star that is?” How many of you have ever made the effort to find out?

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I was having a conversation with a gentleman recently and he told me about a trip he had made out west to the Colorado mountains and how startling it was to be able to see so many stars in the night sky compared to how many that were visible to him here in the metropolitan area.

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I hope to be giving a talk to some Boy Scouts in a couple of weeks to try and help them along the path to achieving their astronomy merit badge and that path looks a little tough. In reading over what seems to be a huge amount of studying, I thought a column about star colors would help in s…

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More than 45 years have passed since our astronauts lat set foot on the moon, but in recent weeks, President Donald Trump has renewed the nation’s focus of expanding humanity’s presence beyond Earth.

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Of the 88 named constellations, only 57 are visible to stargazers in southwest Iowa, and the one I’m writing about today is, in my opinion, just one of two that look just like what they’re supposed to represent: Leo, the Lion, the other, Scorpio, the Scorpion.

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Today’s column is somewhat of a departure from actual stargazing but I thought readers might be interested in learning about a new era in space endeavors that is scheduled to start next week with the launch of the uncrewed SpaceX Demo-1 flight test to the International Space Station (ISS).

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Whether it is the Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy or the constellation of Auriga, the Charioteer, the winter skies during February provide an excellent starting point for observing the heavens.

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What has been labeled as one of the U.S. government’s most intensive research efforts, if not THE most intensive, is being brought to the public via television with the History Channel’s presentation dealing with Project Blue Book.

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Over the years I have accumulated a good number of books and periodicals dealing with amateur astronomy, but the one I rely on most frequently in my observing sessions is one published in Canada.

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With southwest Iowa now in its seventh full day of the winter season, we can expect an onset of colder nighttime temperatures and stargazers are urged to dress warm when going outside for observing the heavens.

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I hope my readers will excuse me for using this column again since it’s been used on several occasions in the past at this time of year but considering NASA’s continuing talk about the possibility of establishing a manned outpost on the lunar surface, I thought perhaps it is still appropriat…

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During this latter part of November and into the first couple of weeks in December, I usually receive several e-mails from readers who, for the most part, are asking for information about optical aids and the best market for purchasing one as a gift.

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Each year about this time, I try to write about one of the heaven ‘s most distinctive constellations since it is now situated in the northeastern sky and is most easily recognized by its unique shape of the letter “W” (although the “W” is now tilted a little bit to its right side.)

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A friend of mine asked if I would be “kind” enough to repeat a column I wrote a year or so ago so he could try and assist his three grandkids with a project for their individual school classes. Here you go, Jerry.

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Two of the more classical constellations in mythology, Perseus, the Hero, and Pegasus, the Winged Horse, lie almost overhead but are still slightly east in the sky and should be easy to find as long as the cloud cover cooperates and stays away.

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I received an e-mail from a reader who was interested in his particular “Sun Sign,” and was wondering when and how they arrive at that particular point in space.

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Almost directly overhead at 9 p.m., the constellation of Cygnus — the Swan — is located right in the middle of the Milky Way with it’s head pointing south like a bird on its autumn migratory flight path.

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As of Sept. 1, there had been 3,823 confirmed exoplanets discovered in our solar system, and we have learned that rocky, temperate worlds are extremely numerous in our galaxy. Perhaps the next step will involve asking even bigger questions. Could some of these exoplanets host life? And if so…

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I was looking back over some of the file copies of my August columns about the Perseid meteor shower and couldn’t help noticing how many post-Perseid columns have “talked” about the dismal display.

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Camp Hitchcock, located just north of Crescent, will be hosting their annual “Night Sky” program on Saturday for the annual arrival of the Perseid meteor shower. The program is scheduled to run from 8:30 p.m. to midnight.

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For the past several weeks, one of late summertime’s most enduring asterisms has been rising in the eastern sky and is now almost directly overhead and very observable from our vantage point here in southwest Iowa.

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Plans are being made for a space venture to the planet Mars in the next several years, but in the interim, NASA is attempting to study the human body’s ability to withstand a 4-year space mission to the red planet.

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In conversations as well as emails and phone calls, I’ve received several questions regarding the very bright orange “star” which has been visible in the late night and early morning sky.

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Comets have been pretty scarce in our part of the country for quite some time, but now comes word of a comet discovered by the PanSTARRS telescope located on the summit of the Haleakala volcano in Maui, Hawaii, that has the potential to become a naked eye object as we get further into July a…

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For many years, space debris has been of growing concern to NASA and other space agencies around the world. Their primary worry is that a collision at orbital velocities could either destroy the satellite or cause significant damage to working satellites.

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Just seven days ago, on June 2, planet Earth was struck by a small asteroid that entered our atmosphere over the country of Botswana that is located in the southern part of Africa.

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