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After a little break (of 25 years or so) Bob King is celebrating his retirement with a return to The North 103.3's airwaves!After almost 40 years with the Duluth News Tribune, Bob is now retired. But scratch a print guy and you'll find a radio guy; King and then-UMD Planetarium Director Glen Langhorst hosted Startalk on KUMD for several years in the early '90s.Listen for Astro Bob every other Tuesday at 8am on Northland Morning.

Astro Bob's Backyard Astronomy: Get Your Binoculars Ready

Graphic of Venus and Saturn in conjunction, a 1-day-old moon is labeled near the bottom above a black tree line, sky is a brownish orange
Stellarium
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Venus will be in conjunction with Saturn in the company of the young crescent moon on January 22.

If the skies stay clear, Bob King has some suggestions for you; just don't forget your binoculars.

As of late, about 45 minutes after sunset the southwestern sky has offered a view of the planet Venus. On January 22nd, Venus welcomes a friend. "The planet Saturn and Venus will have a very close conjunction," says King. "Bring binoculars and you can't miss that conjunction." A very young crescent moon will also crash the party on that date.

Also worth looking out for is a comet. "It will be a nice comet," says King. "It might be the brightest comet of 2023. It'll look like a little blob in a pair of binoculars." Some folks who live further from city lights might be able to see the comet without magnification. Sightings of the comet (which is called "ZTF") will begin as soon as January 16th and extend into early February.

And finally, the sun could be sending some spectacle in our direction. "The sun's, like, hyperactive," says King. "It's like a teenager with acne right now." Sunspots are kicking out flares that may very well cause aurora borealis. "In the next week and a half of so, there's good potential for a Northern Lights display."

Grab your binoculars, cross your fingers, and keep your eyes on the skies.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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