June 26, 2017

AstroEvent: A Close Planetary Pairing +A Springtime Meteor Shower.

Looking eastward the morning of April 19th with a 5 degree FOV. (Created by the Author in Starry Night).

Where have all the planets gone? Well, with the exception of Saturn, they’ve all been hiding in the direction of the Sun. That’s all beginning to change this week, however, as Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter slip into the dawn sky to join Venus in what will turn into a splendid early morning multi-planet conjunction in early May. [Read more...]

AstroEvent: The Return of Saturn 2011.

Saturn as imaged March 19th, 2004 by the author.

 Two of unique planetary events are on our astro-radar this week. The first is an extremely close conjunction between brilliant Venus and faint Neptune on the morning of March 27th. At a mere 9’ minutes separation at 0100 UT, this will be one of the closest planetary conjunctions of the year. [Read more...]

AstroEvent: A Challenging Dawn Conjunction.

Saturn & Mercury on closest approach. (Created by the Author with Starry Night).

Saturn & Mercury on closest approach. (Created by the Author with Starry Night).

 

   Set your alarm clocks; one of the closest but most challenging planetary pairings of the year happens this week in the early dawn skies. Mercury and Saturn will be within 1° degree of arc separation the morning of October 8th. Saturn is fresh from superior conjunction behind the Sun, and Mercury is currently undergoing a dawn apparition. Both will fit well in a binocular field of view or a low power eyepiece. The pairing will rise about 45 minutes prior to local sunrise, which for middle northern latitudes will occur around 7:45 AM local. [Read more...]

Astro event: A Close Planetary Conjunction.

Mars & venus at closest conjunction. (Created by Author in Starry Night).

Mars & venus at closest conjunction. (Created by Author in Starry Night).

 

   The dusk planetary action continues this week with a close conjunction of the planets Mars and Venus. Our two nearest planetary neighbors in space have been playing a game of apparent cat and mouse in the dusk skies, approaching each other within two degrees of arc July 31st, receding, and then approaching again. Closest approach is around August 19th, when both planets are within 1° 45’ of each other as seen from our Earthly vantage point. This is one of the better planetary conjunctions of the year, and a good study in comparative planetary characteristics and orbital mechanics. [Read more...]

Top Astronomy Events for 2010.

(Photo credit: Art Explosion).

(Photo credit: Art Explosion).

Ah, it’s that most hallowed time of year yet again; a time to look ahead at what astro- wonders await in 2010. Here’s a quick month-by-month rundown of the curious, unique and bizarre coming to a sky near you. Like last year, rather than bore you with a laundry list of every obscure wide conjunction and moon phase, we distilled ‘em down to the best of the best. [Read more...]

The Moon joins a Planetary Three-Way.

Three planets and one Moon. (Credit: Stellarium).

Three planets and one Moon. (Credit: Stellarium).

Early risers this week will awaken to a fine sight; a three way dance between Mercury, Saturn, and Venus, joined by the waning crescent Moon on the 16th. Look towards the east, about a half hour before local sunrise. Mercury has just passed greatest elongation on the 6th of this month, and thus will be swiftly sinking back to the horizon morning by morning. Venus will continue to shine high in the east at dawn, and Saturn, fresh from conjunction with the Sun last month, will be the faintest and slowly slide upwards past the pair of inferior planets this week. [Read more...]

October 2009: Life in the AstroBlog-o-Sphere.

In Honor of Pumpkins Past...(Photo by Author).

In Honor of Pumpkins Past...(Photo by Author).

(Editor’s note: If case you haven’t noticed, we’re shaking things up here a bit at Astroguyz. Specifically, our news bits have gone to a daily affair, to allow for more nimble and timely coverage. It’s a swiftly changing world out there in the realm of space blogging, and Astroguyz is right there with you! Our monthly news round up will instead be a sneak peak at the month ahead, some bits old and some new. Read on…

Coming to an October Sky near you: This month, all telescopes will be turned on the south pole of the Moon on the 9th as the Delta Centaur upper stage known as LCROSS slams into the lunar surface. Will anything be visible? The only sure way to know is to look! The Harvest Full Moon, a rarity for October, arrives this month on the 4th. [Read more...]

AstroEvent of the Week: 04.20.09: A Morning of Moons and Meteors!

venus & Moon.

Venus & the Moon Earlier this Year…(note the Ashen Light!) Photo by Author.

There are two reasons to set your alarm this week; one is the annual Lyrid meteor shower, and the second is the lunar/planetary action in the dawn sky. First, the shower. The Lyrids break the lull we’ve had in meteor showers for a few months; this showers’ radiant is located in the constellation Lyra near the star Vega (of Contact fame!) and can be expected to produce about 10 meteors per hour around the mornings of April 22nd. [Read more...]

Astro-Event of the Week:03.23.09:Can you spot Venus at Inferior Conjunction?


Warning: Do not attempt this weeks’ astro-feat unless the Sun is properly blocked, preferably just below the horizon! Sweeping the area near the Sun with optical equipment introduces the very real possibility of momentarily pointing at the Sun, which can cause optical damage!


inferior conjunction

Venus at Sunrise, as seen from Bangor, Maine, March 27th. (Credit: Stellarium).

This week’s observing challenge is a unique attempt, and will put you in league with a handful of skilled observers that even realize this is possible. It is not generally appreciated that Venus’s orbit is tilted 3.4 degrees in relation to our own, as represented by the ecliptic. [Read more...]

Astro-Event of the Week; February 23rd-March 1st; A Close Conjunction.

Conjunction.


Looking West from North America at Sunset on the 27th. (Credit: Starry Night).

Lots of happenings in this last week of February… the pick for the astro-event of the week was a toughie. I choose the Friday close conjunction/occultation of Venus and the Moon, as it’s one of the closest of the year! And it’s easily observed with the naked eye, and highly photogenic to boot! [Read more...]

Top Astronomy Events in 2009.

 

Penumbral.

A 2002 Penumbral. Photo by Author.

The International year of Astronomy presents several outstanding viewing opportunities for 2009. Here is the Astroguyz short list of highlights for the year. These are our personal +12 best, must see events; we thought that rather than laundry list moons phases and solstices, we would narrow in on some of the best upcoming opportunities; [Read more...]

Astro-Event of the Week: 1st-7th December, 2008: A dusk tri-conjunction.

Tri-Conjunction.

Looking West after Sunset. (Credit: Stellarium).

This week’s astro-event requires absolutely no gear to observe, just a clear sky. Look westward into the dusk, just after sunset the evening of Monday, December 1st. Venus and Jupiter will be joined by a thin, waxing crescent Moon for a spectacular tri-conjunction . [Read more...]

View your own Star of Bethlehem.

    Over the years, much ink (real and cyber) has been spilt over the astronomical origins of the Star of Bethlehem. Biblical references are scant in regards to what the wise men may have seen; we know that the star “went before them…” every morning until it lay over the manger; the rest was history. But what was it?

[Read more...]

Astrology: An Astronomical Perspective

Astronomy may well be man’s oldest scientific endeavour. When we weren’t busy eking out an existence, we were looking to the stars. The sky to our ancestors must have seemed enigmatic and mysterious. Removed from terrestrial affairs, the heavens seemed aloof. [Read more...]