Author: Potamus

Super Moon 2014

What is a Super Moon? Coined in 1979 in an astrology magazine, the “Super Moon” is simply the full moon (or new moon) that occurs within 90% or closer of its closest possible approach to the Earth during a given orbit.  It’s also a lot easier to say than its astronomical term, perigee-syzygy Moon. Today at 2pm Eastren, the full moon will reach perigee just a hair under 220,000 miles from the Earth.  It will appear as much as 14%

New Tool for Estimating Auroras

NOAA has outdone themselves. is a new tool that not only estimates the strength of the current auroral conditions, but how easily they can be seen on the ground, which is where Astropotamus lives. Check it out, and make sure to say thank you to your congressperson the next time that NOAA’s funding comes up for renewal!

More Transit Pictures

Rather than posting them here, I’ve put them on dropbox.  You can see pictures of the transit of Venus occurring at the same time as a solar flare (look at about the 7:00-8:00 point on the solar disc) at: Happy viewing!

The Transit of Venus, continued

Today is June 6, 2012.  The day after the last transit of Venus that everyone alive today will ever see.  Well, there may be a few people that were born on June 4 that will live to be 105 1/2, and see the transit that occurs in December of 2117, but we’re discounting those few.  By now, you’ve probably heard that transits of Venus occur in pairs separated by 8 years, but those pairs are separated by 105 or 121

Ring of Fire on May 20, 2012

On May 20, 2012, a rare and spectacular annular solar eclipse will take place for the Western half of the United States. Sadly, this Astropotamus is in the Eastern half of the United States and won’t see it. If you are interested in this annular eclipse, lots of information is available on the Internet. If you want to know more about what makes an annular eclipse special (and not an annual eclipse), then read on.