International Space Station

Bob King. Used with permission.

Venus's upcoming conjunction with the sun means it will be backlit to a fare-thee-well in the next few weeks, but after that, it changes things up and decides to try out life as a morning star for a while.

©Bob King. Used with permission.

Some skywatchers were disappointed this week to discover that the moving, blinking lights in the sky were not, in fact, a spaceship from another planet.  Some were crestfallen to learn it was just the International Space Station. Astro Bob has more information and good viewing times here in this blog post.

Bob King. Used with permission.

We hate the way dust makes things look at home, but it turns out dust makes sunsets look spectacular.

Volcanic eruptions in Russia's Kuril Islands are making our sunsets here in the Northland purple.

How does THAT work?  Astro Bob explains.

And in more astro-news, Bob reports there is a decent chance of auroras for the region this Friday and Saturday nights (September 27 and 28) and you can read more about that here.

It's a wide-ranging edition of Astro Bob's Backyard Astronomy today: from the weather to the conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the moon to the International Space Station -- with stops along the way at The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and how we know the earth is not flat.