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 » »

eta Aquarid Meteor Shower

Posted by BC on April 30th, 2008

eta Aquarid Map If you like to watch meteor showers, an opportunity is soon to arrive to view the eta Aquarids. Those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are favored for this year’s shower, which peaks on May 05 and 06. The peak hourly rate is 70 meteors per hour for the SH, but for the NH 30 per hour are expected.
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The World Comes Together To Measure Sky Brightness

Posted by BC on April 26th, 2008

Orion Constellation -NOAO Citizen astronomers around the world measured sky brightness during an activity sponsored by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP). The activity, GLOBE, involved 62 countries and thousands of people who all went out in March 2008 and count the numbers of stars in the constellation Orion. A device was also used by some to measure the brightness of the sky in that area.
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Solar Eclipse Predictions

Posted by BC on April 26th, 2008

Total Solar Eclipse - Espenak

Solar eclipses are to be experienced, not merely watched. If you have never experienced a total solar eclipse, you have one more thing to add to your “things to do before I die” list. If you are fortunate enough to have experienced one, then you know what I am talking about. I went to Mexico for the Total Solar Eclipse in July 2001, and it was truly great.
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Star Party Time

Posted by BC on April 19th, 2008

Brenda Culbertson with C-8 Star parties are generally casual gatherings of amateur and professional astronomers who congregate in an area, with the purpose of observing. Star parties come in all sizes, from the backyard with a handful of people, to the large internationally known, long duration events. No matter what the size, all who attend have a similar interest, and they meet others who usually have a new story to share. Let’s face it, some of us love a good astro story.

No matter what the reason is for you to attend or host a star party, warm weather is a good time for outside events. If you know of a star party coming to your area (or your backyard), and you want to let everyone else know about it, please make a post in the comment section of this blog entry. I have invited a few folks to my backyard observatory tonight.

Shocking Moon

Posted by BC on April 18th, 2008

Moon Dust - NASA New ideas about the lunar surface as the Moon sweeps into the Full phase bring reports of shocking news. Really, “Shocking!” As the Moon passes through Earth’s magnetotail, the particles on the surface are charged. The charged particles raise a layer of dust that can be attracted to the oppositely charged particles, i.e. dust onto space suits, equipment, and pretty much anything else.
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Posted by BC on April 11th, 2008

CFBDS 0059 - Canada-France Brown Dwarf Survey Spectral types have a new addition. The “Y” type star is now included in the family. The “Y” stars are very cool at approximately 350 degrees C. They do not emit enough energy to see in the visible range, but can be seen in the infrared region. A brown dwarf has the mass of about 80 Jupiters, so it cools shortly after forming.

(The brown dwarf is in the yellow circle.)

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Moonbuggies, Obstacles, and Gray Tape

Posted by BC on April 10th, 2008

Moonbuggy - NASA What a cool event! A competition was recently held for high school and college students, but it seemed more like fun than anything else. The competition was to design, build and race a “moonbuggy” across the simulated lunar terrain. Teams of two, from around the world, attend the competition in Huntsville, Alabama, USA on April 04 and 05, 2008.
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Moon Meets Pleiades … Again

Posted by BC on April 4th, 2008

Pleiades Star Cluster - NASA For observers who have fair to good weather, another chance to view the Moon passing in front of the Pleiades Star Cluster occurs on Tuesday, April 08. This is a naked-eye event, but viewing through a telescope provides more stimulating events. The Moon is a fairly thin crescent, so more of the fainter members of the star cluster may be visible.
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