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astronomy

Best View of Mars in a Decade

Mars, photo by NASA
During the last weeks of May and the first weeks of June, Mars will be bright and quite noticeable in the evening and early morning sky. In fact, this will likely be the best view you'll have of the planet in a decade! The last time Mars was this bright was during the the Martian opposition of November 2005.
 

Evidence for a Ninth Planet

The six most distant objects in the solar system (magenta) all mysteriously align. Planet Nine, if it had 10 times Earth’s gravity and an anti-aligned orbit to these distant objects (orange), would explain these paths almost perfectly. (Image: Caltech)

By Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

You may have heard that there is evidence of a possible new ninth planet in our solar system, but what exactly does that mean? What evidence was found?

Five Planets Visible in the Morning Sky

Five planets visible in the night sky.

By Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

For the first time in a decade, five planets are visible with the naked eye at the same time. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be together in the pre-dawn sky starting Wednesday, January 20, 2016.

The Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks December 13 and 14

Geminid Meteor Shower

By Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The peak of the Geminid meteor shower occurs this weekend on the nights of December 13 and 14. The Geminids are one of the most consistent meteor showers year after year. This year there will be no bright moon to compete with so the show should be particularly good.

Spot the International Space Station in the Night Sky

The International Space Station
By Nathan Young
 
Over the next week and a half you'll have a couple good opportunties to see the International Space Station from San Diego as it's whizzes by overhead on its orbit of the Earth. 
 

Orion's Successful Launch

Orion launch

Watch the video here!

Orion's launch was scrubbed on Thursday, but Friday morning, Dec. 5, saw a successful launch, ushering in a new era of space exploration. Click the link above to see the launch footage.

Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, October 23

By Dr. Lisa Will

Get ready! During the afternoon of Thursday, October 23, a partial solar eclipse will be visible from San Diego. Less than 50% of the Sun will be covered from our viewpoint in San Diego, but the quality of light outside should be noticeably different.

Mars To Encounter Comet Siding Spring

By Dr. Lisa Will
 
This Sunday, October 19, Mars will have a close encounter with Comet Siding Spring.
 
And by close, I mean close!
 
Comet Siding Spring, also known as C/2013 A1, will be approximately 82,000 miles away from Mars at its closest approach. That might not seem like much, but to give you a sense of scale that is equivalent to about one-third the distance between the Earth and the Moon!
 

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