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This composite image shows the progression of a total solar eclipse over Madras, Oregon, on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani. From

A total solar eclipse will cross the US mid-morning on Mon, Apr 8. This eclipse appears to be the last total solar eclipse that will cross the US until 2045. So when will the eclipse be visible from Idaho, what will it look like, and how best to observe it?

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Artist’s conception of a hot Jupiter shedding mass.

Though worlds in our Solar System have been rocked by geological upheavals, mountain-shattering impacts, and climatic disasters throughout their histories, we think they have remained essentially intact. The planets we see today have been here since they first coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But that long-lived stability may be the exception and not the rule. Indeed, astronomers now know many planets face destruction through what’s called tidal disruption, and recent searches have revealed direct evidence of the final moments for these doomed worlds.

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For Boise State Physics’ First Friday Astronomy event in January, we will host Leif Edmondson, president of the Boise Astronomical Society. Edmondson will talk about ancient Babylonian astronomy, so for this month’s blog post, rather than steal his thunder, I decided to talk about an astronomical tradition disconnected from Babylon: ancient Korean astronomy.

Korean astronomy goes back thousands of years and, aside from China, Korea has the longest history of astronomy in the world. Korea also hosts the oldest known astronomical observatory in east Asia, built by one of the earliest queens of the ancient world. And even today, Korean astronomers continue to innovate and discover, building on this deep past.

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