Astronomy

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ELi ON EARTH: Lovejoy Comet Cometh

Monday, January 12, 2015

Image: Another Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) as photographed by Dan Burbank from the International Space Station in 2011; courtesy of NASA.

Last week ELi on Earth (EoE) focused its binoculars on the moons of Jupiter, and this week we will point our binoculars to comet Lovejoy.. The comet is bright enough to be seen with binoculars in East Lansing, or even with the naked eye if you are in a darker area.

SHOW OF THE WEEK: Family-Friendly Show Opens at Abrams Planetarium

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Elmo, Big Bird, and their new friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu, will help MSU’s Abrams Planetarium kick off its Spring semester this coming Saturday, January 11, at 2:30pm. In “One World, One Sky”, the three friends take a voyage of the imagination to the moon and back in a show designed especially for families and children of preschool and early elementary ages.

ELi ON EARTH: Jupiter Moons, East Lansing

Monday, January 5, 2015
Europa, moon of Jupiter

Image: “Europa’s stunning surface,” courtesy of NASA and the Galileo Mission

Winter weather has come to East Lansing, making for cold and potentially good conditions for astronomy. Because of how precipitation works, the coldest nights are often the clearest in East Lansing, and so can make for good, if brief, looks at the sky. (Tip: Observation sessions can be extended if, along with your binoculars, you pack a flask of something warming from Jonnna’s and some boot warmers from Moosejaw in downtown East Lansing.)

ASK ELI TO INVESTIGATE: Unidentified Pink Object

Friday, October 17, 2014

On Fridays, ELi runs a feature called Ask ELi to Investigate in which we answer a question from a reader. Last week we answered a question about BWL finances. Several readers have submitted other important political and economic questions, and we are working on those and will bring you answers in the coming weeks. As we work on those, this week we offer you a lighter Ask ELi.

As Predicted by ELi, East Lansing Experiences Lunar Eclipse!

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Moon image courtesy Cindy Mielock

As predicted by ELi’s astronomy beat reporter, Aron Sousa, a lunar eclipse thrilled the City of East Lansing early Wednesday morning. A hardy group of a couple dozen celestial enthusiasts braved the pre-dawn chill to share the experience from atop the Shaw Lane parking ramp, behind the MSU planetarium.

Total Lunar Eclipse Will Turn Moon Red for East Lansing

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On the morning of Wednesday, October 8, East Lansing residents will be lined up directly between the sun and the moon, forming a syzygy (a frequent topic here at ELi’s astronomy column). East Lansing residents and the rest of the earth will cast a shadow on the moon beginning at about 4:17 am Wednesday, and in East Lansing the full moon will be completely in the earth’s shadow from 6:27 am until 7:22 am. Weather permitting, the lunar eclipse will be visible low on the horizon due west.

East Lansing Hopes to See Uranus Next Week

Monday, September 29, 2014

The best East Lansing viewing of Uranus will be in the week before and after October 7, when Uranus will be in opposition to the sun. Opposition refers to when two bodies are on opposite sides of the viewer. The coming opposition will place Uranus and the sun on opposite sides of East Lansing. The sun’s light will stream past Earth, bounce off Uranus, and come back to East Lansing.

Day and Night of East Lansing Autumnal Equinox Not Quite Equal

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Every fall, the autumnal equinox comes to East Lansing. This year the equinox will be Monday the 22nd of September, although the sun will be visible from East Lansing for more than twelve hours. Find out why, and get your ELi horoscope by clicking "read more."

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