Smile at Saturn Day: July 19

Smile at Saturn Day: July 19

On  July 19, the Cassini probe currently orbiting Saturn will image Earth from nearly a billion miles away in true color. It is asked that all “be sure to smile, knowing that others around the world are smiling too, in the sheer joy of simply being alive on a pale blue dot.” And of course, aimed towards Saturn. Even if the earth is less than 2 pixels across. From the Cassini imaging team: “Straighten up, brush your hair, go outside,...

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Distant Suns Astronomy App Makes Tracking Comet Pan-STARRS Easy

Distant Suns Astronomy App Makes Tracking Comet Pan-STARRS Easy

In the next couple of weeks you will likely hear much about a comet with the decidedly unglamorous name of “Pan-STARRS” (or technically: “Comet C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS”). The first significant naked eye comet since Comet McNaught in2007, Pan-STARRS is already visible to the southern hemisphere and brightening steadily each day. Dozens of comets are discovered each year, most quietly anonymous, meekly shining at magnitudes that require very good...

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Eclipse Day!

Eclipse Day!

Eclipse Day! Finally here! My very first total eclipse. Many in our group have seen 5 or more. My roommate is on his 7th. I never thought much of going halfway around the world to see something that lasted in this case, a mere 2 minutes, 9 seconds. People who do this are called “eclipse chasers”. But finally had some sense knocked into me when I realized that the eclipse is just a part of an otherwise fascinating journey. Each spot in the world...

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Distant Suns World HQ For Universal Enslavement

Distant Suns World HQ For Universal Enslavement

Hi All, your intrepid app author here now on station in Cairns along the north coast of Australia (inhabited by an entire population of former convicts not to mention some newcomers trying to escape forthcoming confiscatory tax policies of Washington… (but I digress)… for Wednesday’s sunrise total solar eclipse. I do the dirty work so you don’t have to. Consider it really good QA as I need to, uh, “test”...

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Trek for a Transit

Trek for a Transit

Distant Sun’s Headquarters for World Domination has temporarily moved from Silicon Valley to Kona, Hawaii for five days. I am here to catch the much ballyhooed (not to be confused with Bollywood), Transit of Venus.A transit is like an eclipse, except by a planet. Venusian transits are very rare, happening only in pairs with each pair over 100 years apart. So we had one about 8 years ago, but only visible in europe, now this one visible from...

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