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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!
 

Upcoming Lunar Eclipse on October 8, 2014

"Blood Moon" Lunar Eclipse

By Dr. Lisa Will

If you stay up past midnight on Tuesday, October 7, and into the wee hours of Wednesday, you might be lucky enough to see a total lunar eclipse.

The eclipse will start shortly after 1 a.m. and continue until sunrise. The Moon will be in partial eclipse for most of that time, with the total lunar eclipse occurring sometime between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m.

An Interview With an Astronomer

Dr. Lisa Will

Dr. Lisa Will is the Fleet’s Resident Astronomer. She is also an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy in the Department of Physical Sciences at San Diego City College. Dr. Will hosts our popular monthly live planetarium show, The Sky Tonight. She sat down to talk with Nathan Young about the upcoming show; the current film, Hidden Universe; and upcoming astronomical events.

The Earth From Space

The Earth From Above

News From Dr. Lisa Will, the Fleet's Resident Astronomer

Tonight's topic for The Sky Tonight live planetarium show is The Earth From Above. Join us for a view of the Earth from space. Shows are at 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. The Sky Tonight features a new topic on the first Wednesday of each month.

Can't make it tonight or want to see more? You might already know about the wonderful Astronomy Picture of the Day website (if not, it's listed below), but if you want to see the Earth from space, here are a few other resources you might enjoy:

Tonight's Lunar Eclipse

Eclipse Viewing Information by Dr. Lisa Will, the Fleet's resident Astronomer

Night owl alert! We San Diegans should have a spectacular view of tonight's lunar eclipse if the clouds/marine layer stay away. The full moon will start passing into the darkest part of the Earth's shadow around 11 p.m. tonight. The total eclipse will begin around midnight and last until 1:30 a.m. The moon will fall completely out of the Earth's shadow around 3 a.m.

Get the News About Comet ISON

A comet streaks through the sky

By Dr. Lisa Will, Fleet Astronomer

Comet ISON is getting brighter in the sky, and it should hopefully become visible to the naked eye soon. If you want to know where to locate it in the sky or learn more about Comet ISON, some useful resources are listed below. 

Plus, the Fleet is hosting a Coffee & Comets event on Tuesday, November 26, early in the morning (because the comet can be viewed before sunrise). Visit our Events page for more information.

An Update on NASA's MAVEN Mission

MAVEN logo

NASA News From the Fleet's Astronomer, Lisa Will

Some of you may have heard that NASA's MAVEN mission to Mars was halted by the government shutdown. MAVEN has a launch window of 20 days in late November/early December when the Earth and Mars are in an advantageous alignment. If MAVEN cannot launch during this window, the mission will be delayed until 2016, when the next appropriate alignment occurs.

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