Summer is the season for Noctilucent Clouds

Full Moon and Perigee Moon converge for a Supermoon

Track down two asteroids, Ceres and Vesta

Planetary pairings of Saturn and Mars, Jupiter and Venus

The Perseid meteor shower peaks

The Equinox restores balance to days and nights

Mars meets its rival, Antares

An early Harvest Moon occurs in September

Look out for Noctilucent Clouds
Full details in the Sky Guide » »

North Pole Photo – Unreal

Posted by BC on August 15th, 2009

North Pole Fake Photo   This North Pole photo is going around the Internet. As with the “Mars As Big as a Full Moon” hoax, the North Pole photo is being believed by many people. A meteorologist at one of the television stations near me asked me about it before using it in a story. I am glad that he did.

The story is that this photo was taken at the North Pole in May of 2009. The thin crescent Moon was reported to be at perigee, and Sun could be seen between Moon and the horizon.
Read the rest of this post …

Perseid Summary

Posted by BC on August 15th, 2009

Perseid Meteor - Brenda Culbertson  The 2009 Perseid Meteor Shower was unusual with its double peak. Observers all around the world reported seeing hundreds of meteors on the nights of Aug 11/12 and 12/13.  During the second peak, more meteors were reported. The increase in activity was a pleasant surprise to those who were somewhat disappointed with the first peak.

Three of us observers used my backyard for a dark site from where to watch on both nights. The first night showed some really nice meteors, faint and bright. Moonrise was around 11:00, so the dark night was washed out by around 1:00 a.m. On the second night we tried again, and were very happy that we did.
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Engawa

Posted by BC on August 9th, 2009

JEF Strip - NASA“Engawa” is Japanese for “porch”. ISS (International Space Station) now has a porch attached, and it is being put to use with conducting experiments. The porch is used for exposure of experiments to conditions in space. Some experiments are already in place, and results are being studied.

The shuttle arm can be used to remove experiment pods and to install different pods as are necessary. For more information on the engawa, go to this NASA web page.

Coronal Hole

Posted by BC on August 6th, 2009

coronalhole_soho_163.jpg   Sun has been quiet for much longer than expected. This is the 27th consecutive day without sunspots. A major sunspot developed last month, and it made Sun watchers very happy, but the quiet state redeveloped.
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Double Your Perseid Fun

Posted by BC on August 5th, 2009

MeteorThe Perseid Meteor Shower this year may provide twice as many members to view as usual. A filament of comet dust has crossed Earth’s orbit, and Earth should pass through it during the UT hours of 0800 and 0900 12Aug2009. Go to Space Weather for more details.

Space Twitters

Posted by BC on August 4th, 2009

NASA astronaut and U.S. Army Col. Tim Kopra has become the first International Space Station crew member to use the social media tool Twitter to discuss living and working in orbit.

Kopra (@Astro_Tim) recently joined the Expedition 20 crew after arriving at the orbiting laboratory July 17 aboard space shuttle Endeavour. He is set to return to Earth on the STS-128 mission, which is targeted to launch Aug. 25. Follow Kopra on Twitter. Read the rest of this post …

Summertime observing

Posted by BC on August 4th, 2009

The weather has been strange this summer, but some nights have given us excellent conditions for observing. Many people have gone to star parties, and others have taken what is known now as stay-cations, but those of us who enjoy the night sky have taken opportunities as they come.

A few nights ago, some of my friends came to my house for a dark sky observing session. Read the rest of this post …

Return of BC

Posted by BC on August 4th, 2009

After a time away, I will start making more posts to this site. Please send me your ideas, questions, and especially your comments. I hope that I pique your interest in some new topics and update you in some old ones. I’m happy to rejoin this team that brings astronomy to the web. –BC

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