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Mary Stewart Adams
6:48 am
Fri July 25, 2014

The Delta Aquarid "Wishing Star"

The constellation Aquarius with the star Skat "a wish", near radiant of Tuesday night's meteor show

Hello, this is Mary Stewart Adams with “The Storyteller’s Guide to the Night Sky.”

Overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, July 29 to 30th, is the peak of the annual Delta Aquarid Meteor shower. This meteor shower takes its name from the third brightest star ~or delta star~ in the constellation Aquarius, and the shower can be seen across the entire Earth.

It is commonly held that meteor showers result from Earth’s passage through the trail of stuff left in the wake of a passing comet. But with the Delta Aquarids, the ‘parent comet’ that might be causing the shower, is not known with any certainty.

However, to name a meteor shower, astronomers don’t use the name of the comet anyway, rather, they use the name of the constellation or star in front of which the meteors seem to shoot.

To find the story in this meteor shower, then, we have to consider the name of the delta Aquarius star. This star has the name Skat, which is derived from old Arabic star globes. The name Skat means ‘a wish’~so we could rightfully say that the delta aquarid meteor shower is a shower of wishing stars!

In 1756, the German-born astronomer Tobias Mayer noted a fixed star near where h was observing the radiant of the meteor shower. Twenty-five years later, William Herschel observed this same object and thought it was a comet, but afterwards realized it was a new planet, our Uranus.

Since it was found in the region of Aquarius stars, Uranus is said to have dominion over this region of the zodiac, and is related to all new technology~it being the first planet discovered with the use of a telescope.

The best time to look for the Delta Aquarid wishing stars is between midnight and dawn, especially Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning. And also note that many of these shooting stars leave persistent trains – glowing ionized gas trails that last a second or two after the meteor has passed. 

I’m Mary Stewart Adams, from Emmet County’s International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands.


Michigan Healthcare
4:39 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

What Do The Obamacare Rulings Mean For Michigan?

An appeals court ruling Tuesday out of Washington DC could jeopardize tax subsidies that help nearly 240,000 Michiganders buy health coverage under Obamacare.

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Homelessness
3:33 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Homeless People Are Becoming Writers In Traverse City

Credit David Cassleman

Some homeless people in Traverse City are writing stories for the first time in their lives.

They’re doing it for a new magazine called “Speak Up Traverse City” -- that launches this week.

Organizers of the magazine have formed a writing workshop, where homeless people are finding their voices as writers.   


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Michigan Prisons
11:12 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Prison Escape: Michigan AG Finds Human & Technology Errors

A report by the Michigan Attorney General's office has found both human and technology failures played a part in the prison escape of a convicted murderer.

Michael Elliot slipped out of the Ionia Correctional Facility last February 2 by crawling under fences during a heavy snowfall. He wore white clothes to blend into the snow. He was captured about 24 hours later in Indiana.

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Michigan Business & Economy
11:08 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Former Treasury Secretary Tells Michigan To Seek Chinese Investment

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (right) with President George W. Bush as his nomination to become Treasury Secretary was announced in 2006.
Credit Executive Office of the President files

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says foreign investment and immigration will be critical to turning around Michigan’s economy.

The former aide to President George W. Bush spoke before the Detroit Economic Club (DEC) Monday afternoon with Gov. Rick Snyder.

“Make Michigan attractive for investment, period. OK? Make it attractive,” said Paulson.

He says Michigan should especially look to China to help boost the state’s economy. He says many Chinese businesses are looking to expand overseas, and Michigan needs to make it clear they are welcome.

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