Tag Archives: closest

Claim That Mars Is Closer Than It Has Been In 60,000-Years Is BAD Science — Worthy Of Trump.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE & read. From ‘EarthSkyNews’.

Look at the claim (above) for 2003 & then for 2018 & today.

I am more than willing to admit that We & Mars are rather close together today. I also have NO problems making claims about closeness as long as we don’t go BEYOND 400-years. That is it.

All bets are OFF for distances prior to that. We just don’t know. We don’t have any measurements. We are still trying to nail down orbital distances, shapes & periods.

60,000-years ago. WE HAVE NO CLUE.

Related posts:
Check Category ‘astronomy’.

by Anura Guruge

Jupiter Over New Hampshire: At Its Closest For 2019, Next Week; Largest Moons Visible With Binoculars.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE. Base sky map, AS ALWAYS, from neave.com/planetarium/.

Weather Will Permit.

Click to ENLARGE. From: wunderground.com for Central New Hampshire.

Every year, given the orbital dynamics, the Earth and Jupiter are atypically close for a period of around 3-weeks. This year, Jupiter will be closest to Earth next week, i.e., mid-June, 2019.

When it is this close Jupiter is only 365 million miles away. At its furthest it is 601 million miles out. So, that is quite a variance.

It will be so close that you will be able to see Jupiter’s largest satellites with just binoculars. (Jupiter currently has 79 known moons!) Watching Jupiter’s moons is ALWAYS cool and being able to do so with binoculars is a bonus. Much easier than trying to follow them with an ametuer telescope (and trust me, I have).

The weather will cooperate on at least some of the days. So, make sure to check. Showers during the day and still give us cloudless nights.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘Astronomy’.

by Anura Guruge

Comet, 45P, Will Make 17th Closest (Known) Earth-Comet Encounter On February 11, 2017.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.


Nothing to get too excited about. For a start, this same comet, 45P (where the ‘P’ indicates that it is ‘periodic’), flew by, even closer in 2011.

7.72 million mile separation is pretty respectable — 32x GREATER than the distance to the Moon.

So, don’t panic. Plus, it is quite a small comet, maybe a MILE across, max.

You may hear in the media that this the 8th closest approach by a comet. That is 8th closest as of 1950s when we really got good at measuring these distances — and you have to ALWAYS add, ‘KNOWN’.

This comet, 45P, even at this distance is unlikely to be naked eye visible!

So think of all the comet flybys our ancestors would have been oblivious to.

Also remember we are talking comets. Asteroids routinely whiz by much closer — as say did 2000EM26 in February 2014, with just 2.1 million mile separation.

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by Anura Guruge

Super, Supermoon On Monday, November 14, 2016 — Largest Since 1948 & Not Another Similar For 18 Years.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

For many this could be a once in a lifetime Supermoon, given that the last one of this magnitude was in 1948 and the next in 2034.

It all has to do with the fact that the Moon’s closest approach to Earth is NOT constant each month. It is closer to Earth some months than others. Multiple factors influence this, including the Sun’s gravitational pull.

Plus, a Supermoon is NOT an astronomical term. It is more a lay term and as such there is latitude in what is considered ‘closest’ to Earth. In any given month, for it to be a Supermoon the moon doesn’t even have to be at its closest point to the Earth for that month. It only has to be within 90% of the closest approach.

Hence why all Supermoon’s are not equal.

So the November 14, 2016 will be 229 miles (0.10%) closer to Earth than the September 2015 Supermoon.

Got that?

I just hope we have good weather that night. 

Related posts:
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by Anura Guruge

No Clouds Over New Hampshire For Sunday, September 27, 2015, Supermoon Eclipse.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail . .

by Anura Guruge

Related Posts:Lunar_eclipse_April_15_2014_California_Alfredo_Garcia_Jr1
>> Supermoon eclipse, Sep. 27, 2015.

>> Next ‘Blood Red’ on April 4, 2015.
Not looking good for New Hampshire.

>> October 8, 2014 lunar eclipse.

>> April 15 eclipse video.
>> April 15 eclipse images.

**** Check CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ or search ‘moon’, ‘eclipse’ & ‘blood red’ for other posts >>>>

For a welcome change the weather will cooperate
for Sunday, September 27, 2015
Supermoon Eclipse over New Hampshire.


It is a Supermoon eclipse in that the Moon happens to be at its closest to Earth.

You can have Supermoons without there been an eclipse and eclipses without it being a Supermoon.

Supermoon eclipses are quite rare. The last was 33 years ago in 1982. The next is 18 years hence in 2033.

In addition to 1982, the other Supermoon eclipses since 1900 have been in 1910, 1928, 1946 & 1964.

Here is a GREAT NASA video about Supermoon eclipses that explain why they are rare (if you can’t visualize it yourself). Enjoy.


Click to access video.

Comet ISON, C/2012 S1: NASA’s Latest Image, October 25, From Huntsville, AL.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.ISONPrintCover150206
Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Comet ISON over Ohio —
>> Oct. 28, 2013.

>> Comet ISON looking good —
>> Oct. 21, 2013.

>> Comet ISON over NH —
>> Oct. 16, 2013.
Search on ‘Comet ISON’ on sidebar for other posts >>>>
**** Check my ISON blog.



The comet, as I have reminded you a number of times, is still very far out.

This, at 14″, was a pretty small telescope — though still respectable. The telescope used to discover ISON was 2″ bigger.

IF it survives perihelion, and I think it will, it, on Boxing Day, will be nearly FOUR TIMES CLOSER!

313 Years Since Discovery Of Comet Known To Have Made The Closest Pass To Earth, D/1770 L1, In 1770.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Possible meteor shower, June 13 …
>> — June 10, 2013.

≡ ≡ ≡ ≡  Check CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ for other posts —>>> (sidebar)

Yes, Comet ISON, C/2012 S1, is still on the way, but still a long ways out (as I pointed out 10 days ago). I am banking on it and have my hopes high. A blazing comet in the sky, à la Hale-Bopp [C/1995 O1] in 1997, is always inspirational and so uplifting. Just getting a glimpse of C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS), through binoculars, as it sped away from us, in April was a thrill.

If ISON survives perihelion it will flyby Earth on Boxing Day, i.e., Thursday, December 26, 2013, 39.9 million miles away from us. Contrary to the deluded this is by no stretch of the imagination a close call. That is quite a separation. Mars, every once in awhile, comes closer to Earth than that.

But, on July 1, 1770, when D/1770 L1 (sometimes referred to Lexell’s comet, though he was not the discoverer) passed within 0.0151 AU, i.e., 1.4 million miles of the Earth. This per the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the ultimate authority on such matters, is the closest documented cometary encounter.

So D/1770 L1 was nearly 29 times closer — and even it did no harm, because even 1.4 million miles is a ‘safe’ separation.

On February 4, 2011, the tiny asteroid 2011 CQ1 which came within 3,400 miles of Earth – just hours after it had been espied by the Catalina Sky Survey on February 4, 2011.

D/1770 L1 was discovered on June 14, 1770 by Charles Messier [1730 to 1817], a French astronomer of note, who had already discovered five earlier comets, and would go onto discover seven more. So this ‘near-Earth’ comet was only spotted two weeks prior to its ‘fairly close’ flyby.

The identification with ‘Lexell’ has to do with a bestriding polymath of the time, Swedish-born Russian Anders Johan Lexell [1740 to 1784] who using a new groundbreaking technique quickly calculated the orbital parameters of the new comet based on Messier’s observational data. It perihelioned on August 14, 1770 at 0.7 AU. It has since been lost as denoted by the ‘D/’.

The two dots are Earth, in green below, and the comet, in blue. That is adjacent. Click to access NASA/JPL orbital plot tool. You will need working Java (and a cup of coffe is always nice too).

The two dots are Earth, in green below, and the comet, in blue. That is adjacent. Click to access NASA/JPL orbital plot tool. You will need working Java (and a cup of coffe is always nice too).


Earth At Its Closest To The Sun For All Of 2013 At Midnight (Eastern) On January 2, 2013. How Cool Is That?

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.


..by Anura Guruge

Related post:
Rejoice! Jump For Joy. The Winter Solstice Is Upon Us …
>>Dec. 20, 2012.

I assume that most of you remember or realize that all of the planets in our Solar System have elongated, i.e., elliptical, orbits, as opposed to those that are perfectly circular — with the Sun in the middle.

Planetary orbits, as with the orbits of most celestial bodies, thus have a perihelion and aphelion, i.e., ‘periapsis‘ & ‘apoapsis‘, the nearest and furthest points from the body being orbited; in the case of the planets, this being the Sun.

Given the length of the year, i.e., the time taken for Earth to complete a full orbit of the year, viz. ~365.25 days, the perihelion and aphelion days change from year to year, and contrary to what you would expect they are not related to the two solstices.

This diagram, from Wikipedia, illustrates all the relationships quite nicely:

The Earth’s orbit around the Sun and the key events. Click to access Wikipedia, the source of this diagram.

The 2013 perihelion occurs at 5 am UTC/GMT on January 2, 2013. Since U.S. Eastern time is -5 hours from UTC/GMT, it means that perihelion occurs at midnight, as January 1, 2013 turns into January 2. I think that it is neat.

For those in other U.S. time zones, even Central, the perihelion will occur on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2013.

Yes, the Sun, if you look at it (taking the mandatory precautions) tomorrow, will be bigger. It will continue to be big for a couple of months.

Here is a list of the key Solar dates for 2013, relative to what they were in other years.

These dates and times are from the U.S. Naval Observatory. Click to access. Enjoy.

These dates and times are from the U.S. Naval Observatory. Click to access. Enjoy.