Message From the Gatekeeper

Welcome Astro-Friends!

There's one hot topic for astronomers and observers right now and that is planet Mars as it 
approaches its July 27 2018 opposition date.  Well our solar system neighbors never cease to
surprise us and Mars is no exception.  As Opposition 2018 approaches, the red planet has
thrown up a dust storm so intense that the Opportunity probe is hunkering down and conserving
its battery power until the sky overhead clears again. 

This storm is a little different than one observers expect during a perihelic opposition.  It
started in the northern hemisphere as its fall season opens.  Normally we expect the storm to
start up in the south and go global.  We just have to keep watching that distant planet and see
what perihelion might bring.

There is a Facebook page to help promote the monthly almanac Mr. Ronald A Leeseberg, a.k.a., 
the Star Geezer faithfully provided the "What's Up" almanac for fifteen years. The 
"What's Up" almanac is well into its second decade as Astra's Stargate has been on-line 
for over 20 years! Check out What's Up in the Night Sky? to find out what's up this month
and every month. (Psst - - it's Mars this month!)

I'm hoping to update Astra's Guide to the Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017 page
with observations from last summer.  Personal issues mean that I have to pace my web work. 

Welcome to the Gate!

Dawn Jenkins as Astra

Beam me back, Astra!