WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Sky Stuff

Posted December 14, 2008

Several times recently, one or the other of our weather team or the anchors have made note of some celestial occurrence of interest, from the conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the Moon at the beginning of December to the occurrence of a perigee moon, which happened to be full at very nearly the same time it was its closest to earth in all of 2008 a few days ago, to some information on watching the International Space Station or even the "lost tool bag" that is now orbiting the planet as well. A couple of you have written in to suggest we post an article on where to find more information about what's happening in the night sky, in case you only catch bits and pieces of what was mentioned on the air.

I thought I'd use this note to at least partially address that, by simply listing a selection of web sites where you'll often find good info on any topical happenings going on above us. So, here are some items to put in the "Space and Astronomy" section of your bookmarks/favorites file:

You can find some neat info about our "Carolina Skies," along with a link where you can ask a question to our partners at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, at


When there are meteor showers, auroras, conjunctions, comets, etc to see, you can usually find mention of it, and often some terrific photo galleries, at


Sky & Telescope magazine puts a nice day by day summary of upcoming celestial points of note online at


For those of you interested in the international space station and/or the lost tool bag, see



Finally, if you see a really bright meteor (a fireball) and wonder if anyone else saw it, there is a fireball reports page (just click the most recent yearly reports link) at the American Meteor Society web site at




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  • curiousgeorgia Dec 15, 2008

    Thank you, Mr. Moss!

    Concerning the Moon's perigee, do you think the gravitational pull was greater this time around? I was wondering if it would have had an effect on our weather patterns, too.