No Telescope? No Problem

On April 29th behemoth asteroid 1998 OR2 will make closest approach to Earth at a safe distance of approximately 6 million kilometers. Traveling through the cosmos at 31,320 km/h, 1.8 km wide, 4.1 km long 1998 OR2 reigns as largest near Earth asteroid flyby of the year. There’s no chance of planetary impact and sadly no chance of seeing it without a telescope. Fear not, the Virtual Telescope Project hosts free online viewing starting April 28, 2020.

Ghostly image of a large boulder in space.

Radar image of asteroid 1998 OR2, acquired April 18, 2020. According to current estimates, this space rock is probably at least a mile wide (1.8 km) and maybe 2 1/2 times that long (4.1 km). Image via Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

First glimpses of large asteroid due to pass soon

December 3, 2017 Supermoon

Over thirty years ago astrologer Richard Nolle coined the term Supermoon, he defined it as –

… a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.

Once each month the Moon is full (opposite Earth from the Sun), once a month new (between Earth and the Sun). The closest point of orbit is called perigee, farthest point, apogee. By definition Supermoon occurs at perigee, this happens 4 – 6 times a year. All perigee moons are Supermoons, not all Supermoons are full moons. On December 3 the first and only full supermoon of 2017 happens worldwide at 15:47 UTC. (Translate to your time zone at – )

Image result for dec 3 2017 supermoon

December’s full moon is known as the long night or wolf moon in native American folklore. Ponder all things moon courtesy Eartsky astronomy essentials at –

Poor weather needn’t squelch inclination to howl at the super wolf moon. Linked below, the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome, access to remote robotic telescopes and live streaming of astronomical events.