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By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | June 21, 2013
The Full Strawberry Moon arrives Sunday, and it will be a "supermoon" appearing larger than many other full moons. A supermoon is a full moon that coincides with the moon's perigee, or the point in its orbit at which it's closest to Earth. While the nickname makes it sound extraordinary, supermoons actually occur every year. They can appear more dramatic, however -- 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than when the moon is at apogee, furthest from Earth, according to EarthSky.org . "These changes do not come all of a sudden from month to month, however, and without anything with which to compare them, the changes in the moon's size or brightness are hard to quantify by simple observation," EarthSky adds.
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NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2014
The largest full moon of 2014 rises Sunday, brightening the night sky just as the annual Perseid meteor shower peaks. The moon is full at 2:09 p.m. Sunday, rising at 7:54 p.m. in Baltimore. It's most commonly known as the Sturgeon Moon, and also as the Green Corn Moon and Grain Moon. It will appear slightly larger than normal, though it's hard to tell with the naked eye, because it coincides with the moon's perigee, when it is closest to Earth. It will be just shy of 222,000 miles away, more than 30,000 miles closer than when it reaches apogee, its furthest point from Earth.
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NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2013
A rocket streaked through the sky Tuesday night in Maryland and for hundreds of miles across the eastern U.S. as NASA launched a mission from the Delmarva peninsula. An Air Force Minotaur I rocket lifted off at 8:15 p.m. from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The launch is performing various tests as part of the Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space Office's ORS-3 mission deploying satellites in space. The launch timing, scheduled for between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., was dependent upon weather and atmospheric conditions.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
You can frequently catch a glimpse of the International Space Station flying overhead, but rarely is a Baltimore native aboard. There are several good opportunities to see the orbiter zipping across the night sky this week. On a clear night, the space station appears like a star, only brighter, and moving steadily across the sky. Here is where and when to look: Monday night at 10:41 p.m., look to the southwest horizon. The space station will pass by the "Big Dipper" around 10:45 as it reaches its highest point in the sky, and it will set in the northeast about 10:49 p.m. Tuesday night, the space station will pass directly overhead, rising in the southwest at 9:52 p.m., reaching the center of the sky about 9:56, and setting in the northeast at 10 p.m. Wednesday morning it will again pass directly overhead, but this time from northwest to southeast, from 4:22 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. If that's a bit early for you, it will appear again Wednesday night, rising in the southwest about 9:03 p.m., passing the reddish-tinted planet Mars before reaching its highest point, toward the southeastern sky, about 9:07 p.m. and setting in the northeast about 9:11 p.m. Friday night, look to the southwest at 9:02 p.m. The space station will pass the "Big Dipper" a few minutes later and set in the northeast about 9:10 p.m. It should be bright enough to see even in the city, though it's always best to look somewhere away from urban light pollution.
FEATURES
By Frank Roylance | January 4, 2003
Stargazing highlights for 2003: May 15: Total eclipse of the moon begins at 10:03 p.m., the first visible here in more than three years. Aug. 27: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in 50,000 years and appears as bright as Jupiter. Nov. 8: The year's second lunar eclipse begins at 6:32 p.m. Totality will last 25 minutes. Dec. 25: Venus is the Christmas "star," gleaming in the western sky beside a thin crescent moon.
NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | October 17, 2013
The members of the Jupiter String Quartet surely will be in harmonious alignment with each other when this chamber ensemble performs for Candlelight Concert Society on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m., in Howard Community College's Smith Theatre. After playing together for more than a decade, one can expect that sort of professional connection between violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel and cellist Daniel McDonough. There also are strong personal connections between them.
NEWS
By Scott Dance | August 6, 2012
Opportunities to watch the International Space Station fly over Maryland arise in the coming days. Viewing opportunities only occur sporadically, based on the spacecraft's orbit route and its position relative to the sun and Earth. They often occur during daylight hours or when most of us are asleep, and the space station's appearance is often too faint to be seen. When it is visible, the space station zips across the sky, appearing as a bright, steadily moving light.  Here are three viewing opportunities this week that fall during normal waking hours: Look to the southwest at 9:54 p.m. tonight.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 16, 2013
The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks next week, but a few of the "shooting stars" may be visible as early as Tuesday night, before a nearly full moon outshines the show. The meteors are expected from about April 16 to April 25, with a peak around April 22. But given that the full moon arrives April 25, some of the meteors may be too faint to see during the peak. The show isn't the most dramatic of the year to begin with. The Lyrids are known to show up at a rate of 10-20 per hour at the peak, though that's on a moonless night, according to EarthSky.org . Meteor showers occur when Earth passes through the paths of rubble left behind by comets.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | November 14, 2013
Comet ISON, a rare type of comet from outside the solar system, has brightened "considerably" in recent days and could be on the cusp of visibility to the naked eye in the night sky, scientists say. Scientists are calling on the astronomy community and amateur skywatchers to closely monitor the comet as it nears a close pass by the sun later this month. They want to see whether the comet continues to brighten, and what that could mean is happening to it. Astronomers have been tracking ISON since last September, when  scientists from Belarus and Russia who are part of an international collaboration called the International Scientific Optical Network spotted its faint impression on images captured by a telescope near Kislovodsk, Russia.
FEATURES
By Janice D'Arcy and Janice D'Arcy,CONTRIBUTING WRITER | March 28, 1997
The Sunday sky is deepening into dark blue; the breeze is turning bitter. A crowd a dozen thick and growing is huddled around the eastern corner of Thames and Broadway. In the middle is a man in drooping corduroys, black Reeboks and a tattered sweater. Herman Heyn is in his glory.The self-named Street Corner Astronomer, a neighborhood fixture in Fells Point since he first set up his 8-inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope a decade ago, is basking in the hype of Hale-Bopp, one of the brightest comets to streak through the sky in recent history.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 7, 2014
Mars will appear at its biggest and brightest in the night sky this week as it aligns with the Earth and sun on Tuesday. The red planet reaches what is known as opposition Tuesday, when it and the sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth. That occurs once about every 26 months, according to NASA. "Earth makes two trips around the sun in about the same amount of time that Mars takes to make one trip," according to NASA . "So sometimes the two planets are on opposite sides of the sun, very far apart, and other times, Earth catches up with its neighbor and passes relatively close to it. " This month, Earth and Mars are meanwhile at their closest for nearly 6 and a half years, appearing bigger and brighter than it has since December 2007, according to EarthSky.org.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | December 16, 2013
The Long Night's Moon will be in the night sky early Tuesday morning, getting its name from its proximity to the winter solstice. But it may be hard to see through growing clouds from another snowy system. The moon reaches its fullest phase at 4:28 a.m. Tuesday, so it will be nearly full Monday night when it rises at 5:22 p.m., about half an hour after sunset. It's also known as the Full Cold Moon.  It will be out all night, not setting until 7:15 a.m., just a few minutes before sunrise.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | November 19, 2013
A rocket streaked through the sky Tuesday night in Maryland and for hundreds of miles across the eastern U.S. as NASA launched a mission from the Delmarva peninsula. An Air Force Minotaur I rocket lifted off at 8:15 p.m. from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The launch is performing various tests as part of the Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space Office's ORS-3 mission deploying satellites in space. The launch timing, scheduled for between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., was dependent upon weather and atmospheric conditions.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | November 14, 2013
Comet ISON, a rare type of comet from outside the solar system, has brightened "considerably" in recent days and could be on the cusp of visibility to the naked eye in the night sky, scientists say. Scientists are calling on the astronomy community and amateur skywatchers to closely monitor the comet as it nears a close pass by the sun later this month. They want to see whether the comet continues to brighten, and what that could mean is happening to it. Astronomers have been tracking ISON since last September, when  scientists from Belarus and Russia who are part of an international collaboration called the International Scientific Optical Network spotted its faint impression on images captured by a telescope near Kislovodsk, Russia.
NEWS
By Mike Giuliano | October 17, 2013
The members of the Jupiter String Quartet surely will be in harmonious alignment with each other when this chamber ensemble performs for Candlelight Concert Society on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m., in Howard Community College's Smith Theatre. After playing together for more than a decade, one can expect that sort of professional connection between violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel and cellist Daniel McDonough. There also are strong personal connections between them.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | June 30, 2013
What a great Baltimore weekend for lovers of fine TV baseball. The Orioles sweep the Yankees, and ESPN comes to town Sunday night and delivers a winning national telecast. Plus, it comes hot on the heels of first-rate coverage Saturday night from Fox Sports. (Read my review of Fox's Saturday night telecast here .) I'm not all that crazy about the three-guys-in-booth broadcast team of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and John Kruk. But I loved the sound, look and feel of Sunday night's production.
NEWS
By Deborah Schoch and Deborah Schoch,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 11, 2003
ISLAND IN THE SKY, Utah - We are sprawled flat on our backs on a sandstone slab, soaking in darkness this August night with the satisfaction of Iditarod dropouts basking in a wintertime tropical sun. Above us, the sky pulsates with 11,000 visible stars. We can pick out the Pleiades, Andromeda and Perseus' double cluster as shooting stars whisk by, the last of the Perseids meteor shower. Mars burns feverishly. The Milky Way, thick with stars, forms a wide silver arch over our heads. We are deep inside Canyonlands National Park at an outlook called Grand View Point, one of the darkest spots in the United States: 57 miles from the Interstate 70 headlights, 33 miles from the nearest stoplight, 27 miles from a gas station sign, 12 from an electrical outlet.
NEWS
By Jean Marbella, The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2013
Maryland's Fire Marshall has banned sky lanterns, the increasingly popular paper balloons that are sent aloft by the heat of a candle or fuel cell suspended from the bottom. "They're made with oiled rice paper and bamboo - it's almost kindling," said Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce D. Bouch. "They have to land somewhere, and sometimes they're still partly on fire when they hit the ground. They've been known to ignite dry vegetation. " Bouch said the fire marshal's office frequently gets calls from people interested in using sky lanterns in weddings or other celebrations who want to know if they are legal in Maryland.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | June 21, 2013
The Full Strawberry Moon arrives Sunday, and it will be a "supermoon" appearing larger than many other full moons. A supermoon is a full moon that coincides with the moon's perigee, or the point in its orbit at which it's closest to Earth. While the nickname makes it sound extraordinary, supermoons actually occur every year. They can appear more dramatic, however -- 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than when the moon is at apogee, furthest from Earth, according to EarthSky.org . "These changes do not come all of a sudden from month to month, however, and without anything with which to compare them, the changes in the moon's size or brightness are hard to quantify by simple observation," EarthSky adds.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2013
The International Space Station is making several passes over Maryland this week, a handful of which will be visible in the night sky so long as skies stay clear. Some nights the spacecraft will appear brighter than others, and some nights its flyover will be cut short when it passes into the Earth's shadow and turns dark. In general, it will be on a path from the northwest horizon to the southeast each night. Here are instructions on when and where to look for it over the next week: Tuesday night, it will appear in the northwest about 11:02 p.m., but will only be visible for about 3 minutes before it disappears overhead.
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