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 » »

Is Opportunity in Jeopardy?

Posted by Lydia on January 10th, 2008

Opportunity rover examining some rocks on the surface of MarsScientists have been tracking asteroid 2007 WD5, discovered in late November 2007, and believe it may impact Mars on January 30, 2008. There is actually a 1 in 25 chance of hitting the red planet, down from a 1 in 350 chance. One of NASA’s twin Mars surface rovers, Opportunity, was originally thought to have been in some danger. Read the rest of this post …

Start of Solar Cycle 24

Posted by BC on January 9th, 2008

Image of the Sun at maximum activityAlthough Solar Max is not due to occur until 2011 or 2012, the build-up has begun. On January 04, 2008, a sunspot was detected that marked the beginning of the new cycle. The specific sunspot (number 981) was special because it had a reverse-polarity, the negative polarity lead to the right in the Northern Hemisphere.

What this means for observers Read the rest of this post …

Two New Book Reviews

Posted by Marc on December 29th, 2007

Cover of Tarnas's latest bookcover of Thompson's observing guide bookLydia has reviewed two new books for those who enjoy a night in with a good read when observing conditions aren’t so great outside. The two books are quite different. The first, Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas, tries to provide a rational basis for astrology. The second, Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Robert and Barbara Thompson, is a more conventional astronomy book but – as Lydia found out – its quality sets it apart from other observing guides out there.

For more read the review of Cosmos and Psyche
and the review of Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders.

Sticky: Meteor Showers in 2008

Posted by Lydia on December 27th, 2007

Bright shooting star in the midst of a meteor showerTo help you plan your observing sessions we’ve listed the dates and details of the prominent meteor showers over the coming year.

Quadrantids – January 4, 2008, around 1a.m. CST:
There is a possibility of 100 meteors an hour streaming from the area of northern Bo├Âtes. Luckily moonlight will not interfere this year.

Lyrids – April 22, 2008:
Meteors streaming from the Hercules-Lyra border will unfortunately be washed out by the full moon. Read the rest of this post …

2009: International Year of Astronomy

Posted by Lydia on December 27th, 2007

IYA 2009

IYA2009

Although 2008 is just upon us it’s never too early to start planning for the following year. 2009 has been proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Astronomy in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s contribution of the telescope to the astronomy world “triggering a scientific revolution”. Already, over 100 countries have teamed up to make next year one to remember in promoting astronomy to the world. Read the rest of this post …

Sticky: Winners of Stolen Life Competition Announced!

Posted by Marc on December 21st, 2007

Cover of Stolen Life DVDWell done to the five winners of our DVD competition: Benjamin S. from Texas, Hubert C. from Louisiana, Vivian W. from California, Robert R. also from California and Paul C. all the way from London, England. Each will receive a DVD copy of Stolen Life: a “future noir, a dark and moody sci-fi detective story”. Special thanks to Nanoflix Productions for offering these prizes … competition details here.

New Interview with an Astronomy Author

Posted by Marc on December 21st, 2007

When you’re a committed amateur astronomer you come to rely on certain resources to aid you in your pursuit, be it a book, software or a website. Well, Lydia has interviewed the author of an astronomical calendar which she cannot do without … read the interview here.

Promoting Astronomy to Disadvantaged Youth

Posted by Marc on December 21st, 2007

Lydia took some time to visit disadvantaged teenagers at a school in Texas to introduce them to astronomy. She found them to be enthusiastic about the Universe around us and learned how a pair of binoculars can foster that spark of curiosity in someone … full report here.

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