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How cold and wet this winter in the US?

La Niña (or not) is the biggest wildcard in how this year’s winter might shape up. Overall, NOAA’s outlook suggests a relatively cool, wet U.S. North – and warm, dry U.S. South – this winter.

Reliving Cassini’s final moments

“Cassini managed to survive for 91 seconds in this epic battle, before tipping over backward during the last 8 seconds and then finally losing radio contact with Earth.”

What is an astronomical unit?

Astronomers use astronomical units – or AU – to describe solar system distances. Definition of AU here. Also, mean distances in AU to prominent solar system objects.

Alligators eat sharks

Jaws beware! Alligators might be coming for you, according to new research.

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How to see Auriga the Charioteer

Come to know constellation Auriga’s bright star Capella and the little asterism called The Kids.

Astronomers confirm Earth has an asteroid buddy

It’s the best and most stable example to date of a near-Earth companion, or “quasi-satellite.” It’s a small asteroid called 2016 HO3. It travels along with Earth in orbit around the sun.

See it! Orionid meteors this weekend

This weekend’s Orionid meteor shower didn’t disappoint. EarthSky community photos, here.

Young moon, refracted by atmosphere

Wonderful timelapse from Mike Cohea showing the October 20 young moon – only 1.3% illuminated – setting over Newport, Rhode Island, being refracted by Earth’s atmosphere. 

Young moon returns to evening sky

The moon is back in the evening sky, and will soon sweep past the planet Saturn.

Watch for Taurid fireballs, too

North and South Taurid meteor showers happen simultaneously in late October and November. They’re relatively minor showers, but produce a high percentage of fireballs, or bright meteors.

See it! Elusive Uranus at opposition

Uranus – most distant planet visible, barely, to the unaided eye – was opposite the sun this week. Photos from the EarthSky community here.

Star of the week: Deneb Kaitos

Look for Deneb Kaitos – brightest star in Cetus the Whale – highest in the sky around mid-evening.

Watch ISS spacewalk October 20

Friday’s is the last of 3 spacewalks by International Space Station astronauts this month.