Archive for the ‘Observing’ Category

Saturn is back for 2019

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Saturn is back and easy to find in the southeastern sky, a little east from the handle of The Teapot in the constellation Sagittarius. In the telescope, the planet's pail yellow color is a easy to detect and fun to compare to the brighter hues of Jupiter to the west. The ...

Jupiter’s 2019 return!

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Another year here on Earth and another orbit around the sun. And another chance to "catch up" with Jupiter in its orbit. The King of our Solar System is hovering just east of Antares in Scorpius for the coming months. We will get a good line of site on Jupiter at ...

Magnitude? Yes! (apparently)

Monday, April 1st, 2019

Yes, indeed! Apparently! That's how we see a star's brightness form our perspective here on Earth. We use the term "magnitude" to describe the brightness of a star. We call the measurement of the brightness from Earth the "apparent magnitude". The effect of this apparent brightness leads us to the ...

Finding Polaris

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

A common question arises about sky watching that I wanted to address, namely, "How do I find Polaris, the North Star"? It's a great question as well as it is often asked. For many people, the first assumption about Polaris is that it is a bright star so it should ...

Gauging the sky with the Great Dippers

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

This time of year is a great time to reconnect with The Big Dipper in Ursa Major and it's cousin the Little Dipper, in Ursa Minor. Even though Daylight Savings Time is going push dusk well into the evening, you will still be able to follow these great asterisms into ...

Lunar Eclipse - January 20-21!!!

Sunday, January 6th, 2019

This year starts off nicely with a lunar eclipse on January 20. This is a Sunday night during the MLK 3 day weekend and it will be visible to all of North America. The first stage with the penumbra visible is starting Jan 20 at 10:10PM (22:11) EST and last ...

SVC Tip #5 - New Features

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Here's another update in the series on using Sky View Cafe (SVC) and some details on the recent upgrade of this tool. Kerry Shetline has released the latest upgrade as of July 2017 with a slightly different look but it replaces the legacy Java version. There have been some refinements ...

Phases of Venus

Monday, June 4th, 2018

The skies this spring are graced by the closest and yet perhaps the most enigmatic object beside our moon. The planet Venus has been sparkling in the western sky now for weeks. Our nearest planet has a number of mysteries associated with it - it's cloud cover and it's sulfuric ...

Moon tools Pt 1 (The Intro)

Saturday, December 16th, 2017

I'm a tool kinda guy. You know .. Swiss Army knife, a good flashlight, some vice grips, and, of course, a good astronomy app. Web based tools and apps for astronomy and stargazing are really the good stuff. This series is going to delve into various tools I've found on ...

Naked Eye Lunar Observing Pt 2

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

In this post, we'll continue the discussion of naked eye targets on our Moon. In the first post, we looked at some of the larger mare that present themselves during the week from new moon to 1st quarter. Let's "follow the terminator" and look for some more challenging objects to ...