Friday, April 21, 2017

EarthSky News - Apr 21 - Meteors and Venus

April 21

Meteors and Venus

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Before sunrise Saturday … Lyrid meteors and Venus!

Moon and Venus awesome before Saturday's sunrise. In a dark sky, you might catch 10 to 20 meteors per hour in 2017's Lyrid meteor shower.

Earth and moon between Saturn's rings

The Cassini spacecraft - which has been orbiting Saturn since 2004 - was 870 million miles (1.4 billion km) from Earth when it obtained this new image April 12.

Cassini's final encounter with Titan this weekend

Final closest approach to Saturn's largest moon Titan scheduled for today at 11:08 p.m. PDT (6:08 UTC on April 22; translate to your time zone).

Cassini to begin Grand Finale

Cassini - now nearly out of fuel - will make the 1st in a daring series of dives through the gap between Saturn and its rings next week, on April 26.

Video: Cassini's final crazy engineering

During Cassini's close pass of Titan on April 21-22, Titan's gravity will bend Cassini's orbit around Saturn, shrinking it slightly, so that instead of passing just outside the rings, the spacecraft will begin its Grand Finale dives just inside the rings. Wow!

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Before sunrise … Lyrid meteors and Venus!

Be sure to find a dark sky if you want to try to see meteors. Venus and the moon, on the other hand, will be visible from inside most cities.

Cassini spies Earth and moon between Saturn's rings

We'll miss Cassini. But there's an exciting year for the spacecraft ahead!

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