Minnesota State University Moorhead Astronomy News Feeds

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Messier 20 and 21
August 6, 2020

Messier 20 and 21 The beautiful Trifid Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is easy to find with a small telescope in the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. About 5,000 light-years away, the colorful study in cosmic contrasts shares this...

Astronomical Time Information for
the Fargo-Moorhead Area

Current Local Time:Thursday, August 6, 2020 8:13:39 pm CDT
Julian Date:2459068.55115
Local Sidereal Time:15:51:57.0

The following sunrise/sunset times are for Paul P. Feder Observatory at Buffalo River State Park, about 14 miles from the MSUM Campus. They are only accurate to about 3 minutes since no attempt has been made to deal with the effects of changing temperature/humidity on atmospheric refraction. However, they should be reasonably accurate anywhere in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Daylight on Thursday, August 6, 2020 in Paul J. Feder Observatory
Solar Day (Sun Rising/Setting)6:12 am CDT8:51 pm CDT
Astronomical Day (Darkest Skies)4:02 am CDT11:00 pm CDT
You can click on the "ICAL" button to the right to download an iCal file with the Sunrise and Sunset times for the next year (iCal files should be compatible with Mac OS X iCal or Microsoft Outlook).

Astronomical News

BIG DISCLAIMER: This page of links is assembled automatically via software algorithm, and therefore while we do provide links to these other astronomy oriented websites, I do not necessarily endorse any claims or opinions expressed by those authors.

Universe Today (Top 5 items)

  1. A Strange Planet has been Found that’s Smaller than Neptune But 50% More Massive (Thu Aug 6 7:47 pm)
    Astronomers have found another strange exoplanet in a distant solar system. This one's an oddball because its size is intermediate between Earth and Neptune, yet it's 50% more massive than Neptune. Astronomers have found what they call ?puff...
  2. Martian Features Were Carved by Glaciers, not Flowing Rivers (Thu Aug 6 2:50 pm)
    Orbiters are giving us a chance to study the surface of Mars closely, and some of the features that pop to prominence are dry river channels. There are over 10,000 of them. But a new study suggests that glaciers on ancient Mars are responsible...
  3. New Solar Model Successfully Predicted Seven of the Sun’s Last Nine Big Flares (Thu Aug 6 10:48 am)
    Since it launched in 2010, the Solar Dynamics Observatory has helped scientists understand how the Sun's magnetic field is generated and structured, and what causes solar flares. One of the main goals of the mission was to be able to create...
  4. NASA Astronauts are Back on Earth After a Successful Crew Dragon Splashdown (Wed Aug 5 11:19 pm)
    Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley just returned from the ISS, completing the first crewed mission from US soil in almost a decade. The post NASA Astronauts are Back on Earth After a Successful Crew Dragon Splashdown appeared first...
  5. Finally! SpaceX Starship Prototype SN5 Flies Just Over 150 Meters Into the Air (Wed Aug 5 3:33 pm)
    Yesterday, SpaceX moved one step closer to sending people to the Moon and Mars when its SN5 prototype successfully made a 150 m (~500 ft) hop test! The post Finally! SpaceX Starship Prototype SN5 Flies Just Over 150 Meters Into the Air appeared...

EurekaAlert Space News (Top 5 items)

  1. A new look at Mars' eerie, ultraviolet nighttime glow (Wed Aug 5 11:00 pm)
    (University of Colorado at Boulder) An astronaut standing on Mars couldn't see the planet's ultraviolet "nightglow." But this phenomenon could help scientists to better predict the churn of Mars' surprisingly complex atmosphere.
  2. NASA's Maven observes martian night sky pulsing in ultraviolet light (Wed Aug 5 11:00 pm)
  3. NASA's OSIRIS-REx is one rehearsal away from touching asteroid Bennu (Wed Aug 5 11:00 pm)
    (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's first asteroid sampling spacecraft is making final preparations to grab a sample from asteroid Bennu's surface.
  4. Arecibo Observatory returns from tropical storm Isaias lockdown to track asteroid for NASA (Wed Aug 5 11:00 pm)
    (University of Central Florida) Arecibo's Planetary Radar Group quickly shift from storm response to track asteroid 2020 NK1. Before the Arecibo observations, 2020 NK1 was calculated to be one of the biggest threats out of all known asteroids...
  5. Researchers take the ultimate Earth selfie (Wed Aug 5 11:00 pm)
    (University of Colorado at Boulder) In a new study, a team of scientists set out to achieve something new in planetary photography: The group used the Hubble Space Telescope to try to view Earth as if it were an exoplanet.

Astronomer's Telegrams (Top 5 items)

  1. ATel 13921: VLA observation of AT2019wey (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    On 2 August 2020 UT the VLA observed the position of AT2019wey, an optical transient reported to the Transient Name Server (TNS) in Dec 2019. Separately, in March 2020, an X-ray transient consistent with the position of AT2019wey was discovered...
  2. ATel 13920: MASTER OT J144603.45-413156.7: GRB 200803B possible optical counterpart (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    MASTER OT J144603.45-413156.7 discovery - GRB 200803B optical counterpart or outburst with ampl > 4.1m, no VIZIER data AT2020qvn During Fermi GRB 200803B inspection (Fermi GCN #28201, Lipunov et al. ...
  3. ATel 13919: Swift observation of Nova Cassiopeiae 2020 = TCP J00114297+6611190 before peak optical brightness (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    Nova Cas 2020 (TCP J00114297+6611190), a Fe II type classical nova, was discovered on 2020-07-27.9302 UT by S. Korotkiy (ATel #13903, #13904, #13905). ...
  4. ATel 13918: Fermi LAT Detection of a New Gamma-ray Transient in the Galactic Plane: Fermi J2101+5806 (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    On Aug 4, 2020, the Large Area Telescope (LAT), one of the two instruments on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, observed gamma-ray emission from a new transient source, Fermi J2101+5806. ...
  5. ATel 13917: Recent extended period of High Activity of Mrk 421 measured by HAWC (Wed Dec 31 6:00 pm)
    In the past week the HAWC gamma-ray observatory has observed an increased TeV gamma-ray emission from Markarian 421, with a highest flux above 1 TeV of (13.74 +/- 1.66) X 10^-11 cm^-2s^-1 ( 7.8 equivalent Crab units) between 2020-07-31 17:47:05...