Digital Mike: Nighttime sky watching help is just a click away

Star gazing and admiring the planets is a hobby that can occur in any season, but summer's one of my faves for looking skyward and marveling. I've got a few favorite sites to share.

Tried and true

You have to rise early to hear this radio show on Minnesota Public Radio , but Star Date provides a quick education on something occurring in our skies. I've loved it even with its sound, which seems a bit outdated. I like it. But they also have a website, which is full of information. It's a great go-to. Give it a look.

Admiring the heavens

ADVERTISEMENT is a great resource for so much of what's out in space. Their skywatch stop on the web is another key information source that can help guide your observing. I'm far from an expert, so I need lots of guidance and this site will give you something to read and something to talk about with your skywatching partner. Viewing solo is serene, but it's wonderful to share. My kids are great and I recall watching the Perseids meteor showers in August in northern Minnesota with my son, Jack. Fun memories.

Zoom, zoom

Growing up in Montana, I was always marveling at the heavens and it was a thrill to see an asteroid or a comet or even Skylab zipping across our dark night sky. NASA has a good site to track you the asteroids and branch off into other objects in the sky. The more you know, the more fun it is.

Did you see it?

A full moon on the summer solstice is rare. How rare? Check with the great information from National Geographic . Sure, it's an event that already occurred, but there's plenty to learn and many links to take you to what comes next in the sky, which is always changing. Make it a stop.


Close to home

The Post-Bulletin runs a fantastic column each Friday — not just mine! It's Mike Lynch's Starwatch column in the Life section. Mike's a WCCO-AM meteorologist, but also a strong student of the skies. His columns are full of information and diagrams and it's worth your reading today. But also check out his website, where there's much more that's presented in a fashion that's easy to take in.

The fest

Speaking of close to home, here's one you should visit quick before it's gone for another year. It's Rochesterfest. The site gives you a good sampling of what's happening each day. The parade is tonight (Friday), so take a quick look and get out to enjoy this annual event.

Where is it out?

If your power's out, you might not be able to check this on your computer, but take a look on your phone. A power outage this week took me to RPU's handy power outage map that shows the location in the city and even the households and businesses through ARC GIS mapping. Very cool use of technology. Give it a look, and may you enjoy a summer with power.


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