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 » »

Comet Holmes Still Visible

Posted by BC on March 7th, 2008

Comet Holmes and the California Nebula Comet Holmes was quite the sight a few months ago. It grew in brightness extremely fast, making it a real treat for comet observers. Astronomers observed and photographed the quick-growing, and quick-dimming, coma for a long time. Comet Holmes is still visible, if you know where to look. Holmes now lies (line of sight) close to the California Nebula in the constellation Perseus.
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Martian Erosion in Action

Posted by BC on March 5th, 2008

Mars Avalanches - NASA Avalanches were recorded in action by the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) as it orbited Mars on Feb. 19. The images showed unexpected action as scientists looked for changes in the frozen carbon dioxide fields during Martian spring season. No one knows what set off the avalanches, but the geologic interest of researchers has been piqued, and more study is intended.
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Daytime Astronomical Event

Posted by BC on February 29th, 2008

occultjupiter.jpg Sometimes we miss out on celestial events because they occur during our daytime. On March 5th, 2008 an event will take place during the daytime that is possible to observe. Venus will disappear behind the bright lunar limb around 20:00 UT and reappear at the dark limb around 21:00 UT. For exact times for locations in central and western North and South Americas, go to the IOTA prediction site.
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Astronomy Essay Contest for Youth

Posted by BC on February 27th, 2008

andromeda.jpg Introducing youth to astronomy is the first step for their journey through the science, but keeping encouragement to stay with it can be a chore. And, as we who are around children know, they like rewards. Some are thrilled to receive their first pair of binoculars or telescope, and others like to see their work in print, but who isn’t happy to receive a piece of a space rock? Cash is nice, too.
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Saturn in Opposition

Posted by BC on February 24th, 2008

Saturn Prior to Cassini Probe's ArrivalI received a call a couple of days ago from a woman who wanted to know if we were going to have a special viewing of Saturn on Feb. 24. What the woman heard was that Saturn is in opposition on Feb. 24, making it the closest to Earth at 1.24 billion kilometres away. It is also the brightest we will see it this year. During opposition, Saturn rises at sunset and sets as sunrise. The planetary disc will appear 20 arc seconds in diameter.
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Vanguard 1 Anniversary

Posted by BC on February 22nd, 2008

Vanguard 1 - NASA It may be old, but it’s not forgotten.

Vanguard I is the oldest surviving artificial satellite orbiting Earth. It turns 50 on St. Paddy’s Day this year. It was launched in 1958 and was called Vanguard because it was to be the first of what was hoped to be the beginning of human activity in space, but Sputnik and Explorer beat Vanguard into orbit.
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Only Total Lunar Eclipse for 2008

Posted by BC on February 15th, 2008

Lunar Eclipse 20 Feb 2008 - NASA You all probably know about the total lunar eclipse that is visible next week (20 Feb 2008). People who do not keep current on cool astronomy events are surprised when they hear that we will see the Moon covered by Earth’s shadow. I believe that it will be the only total lunar eclipse for this year, so it is important to go out and watch it, if your weather allows.

I tell people that they don’t have to come to the observatory, and that they can see it just as well from their own home, but they like to come and hang out with us. If you are going to view this eclipse, how do you plan to do it?

For details on timings, go to the NASA site.

Cover of Stefan Seip's Digital Astrophotography guideIf you’ve ever swung by the Astronomy Today forum you’ll probably know that Barry Armstead is both an avid and talented astrophotographer to judge by the quality of the images he posts there. So who better to review Stefan Seip’s book on the topic? Barry was impressed with this hands-on, practical guide: you can read the full review of Digital Astrophotography here.

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