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Minnesota starwatch for August 2014


Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

By Deane Morrison

August is a great month for vacations, and even the planets seem to be at play.

Take Mars, for example. Last month its eastward motion carried it past its longtime companion, the bright star Spica, in Virgo. As August begins, Mars is in the southwest, almost midway between Spica to the west and Saturn to the east. Continuing its eastward trek, the Red Planet glides below Saturn, coming closest on the 25th. On the 31st, the two planets form a triangle with a fat crescent moon.

The moon, too, is at play. It becomes full at 1:09 p.m. on the 10th, less than an hour before reaching perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit. This is the closest perigee of the year, so the moon will be big and beautiful; however, it won’t rise over our area of the planet until at least 8 o’clock that night—after waning for seven hours.

On the night of the 12th-13th, the moon will be past full but plenty bright enough to wash out many of the Perseid meteors at the shower’s peak. Perseids are often bright themselves, though, so look to the northeast in the late evening or predawn hours and hope for the best.

A note about full moons past and future. July’s full moon was hailed as a “supermoon” because it fell within a day of perigee. In the Twin Cities, the best time to see that moon full and still above the horizon was around 5:45 a.m. on July 12, some 21.5 hours before perigee. In September, the interval between perigee and the best time to see it close to full will be nearly the same, but this time fullness occurs in early evening, not first thing in the morning.

So if you missed the show in July, September’s should rival it and happen at a more convenient hour for us in the Midwest. (August’s full moon is also super—astronomers use the term perigee moon rather than supermoon—especially on the other side of the Atlantic, where it rises much closer to full.)

In the morning sky, Jupiter climbs steadily above the eastern horizon. Because it’s farther from the sun than Mars, it orbits more slowly; thus, Earth gains on Jupiter faster, making it climb faster in the morning sky. On the 18th, Jupiter sails close by Venus, which is sinking as it begins its next trip behind the sun.

The Milky Way now stretches across a broad swath of the evening sky. Ornamenting it high in the southeast is the Summer Triangle of the bright star .....
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Hoffman Stables

Why incumbents keep getting re-elected

By Lee Hamilton

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for ..... 
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School of High Performance Basketball College Workouts by NBA Trainers in Bemidji, Minn.

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Sports

The 1st annual School of High Performance Basketball College Workouts will be featuring advanced skill instruction by NBA Trainers. 75 minute specialized sessions will be held at the Calvary Lutheran Church Gym in Bemidji beginning August 1 with Tim ..... 
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Second annual Mud/Trail Run hosted by Live Well Winona

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Health & Wellness

If you are looking for your next challenge and really don’t mind getting a little dirty, this course is for you. Registration is now open for the “individual wave” of the mud/trail run. This event takes place on September 6 at 10:30 a.m. ..... 
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Harmony bloodmobile collects 35 units

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in Harmony Health & Wellness

The blood drive held in Harmony on July 15, 2014, succeeded in collecting 35 units of blood. This number was achieved by two donors giving two units, as there were only 34 donors who presented, and two first-time participants. Congratulations to the ..... 
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Minnesota weekly gas price update and outlook 7.28.14

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All State of Minnesota

Average retail gasoline prices in Minnesota have fallen 8.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.41/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,856 gas outlets in Minnesota. This compares with the national average that has fa ..... 
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack proclaims August 3-9 National Farmers Market Week

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All State of Minnesota

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week.” Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate our nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them poss ..... 
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Golf teams still needed for Ridgeway Community School Golf Outing on Saturday, August 2

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in All Sports

The fourth Annual Ridgeway Community School Golf Outing will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 2 at Valley High Golf Course in Houston, Minn. The 18 hole 4 player scramble golf outing welcomes players of all levels to a great morning with fam ..... 
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Swing Street Big Band’s final concert

Fri, Jul 25th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Arts & Culture

The Swing Street Big Band will perform for the final concert of Chatfield’s “Music in the Park” concert series on Thursday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the Chatfield City Park Bandshell. This popular 17-piece big band is made up of some of the top ..... 
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