August 23, 2017

Astro-Event: See Mercury at its Best.

Looking east the morning of December 3rd an hour before dawn.

(Created by the Author in Starry Night).

By now, you’ve no doubt been thrilled by last week’s dramatic passage of Venus and Saturn in the dawn sky. Well, as the old Late-night TV ad cliché says, “But wait, there’s more…”

Fresh off of inferior conjunct and a near transit of the Sun that missed the solar limb by less than 8’ minutes on November 17th, the planet Mercury joins the pair for a stunning gathering. [Read more...]

Astro-Event(s): A Solstice, a Meteor Shower and a Bizarre Transit.

The Winter Solstice… here comes the Sun!

(Credit: Art Explosion).

T’was the night before Christmas, and no doubt dreams of high tech astro-gear is dancing thru the head of many a star stricken astronomer out there. But while you’re awaiting those astro-gifts, the universe marches on. [Read more...]

Astro-Event: A Fine Total Lunar Eclipse.

Our photo of last December’s total eclipse.

Mark your calendars; this Saturday, December 10th a total lunar eclipse graces our fair planet, and a good swath of humanity will get to see it. This particular eclipse occurs at sunset/moonrise for observers in central Europe, the UK, and north-eastern Africa westward, and just before sunrise/moonset for all of North America except the U.S. eastern seaboard and the Maritimes. [Read more...]

Astro-Event: R Geminorum Rising.

Mira, a prototype variable similar to R Gem as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.

(Credit: NASA/ESA).

Tired of observing M31 for the nth time and ready to do some backyard astrophysics? Eventually, we all go there; you may have even read a recent “how-to” post of our not-so-secret addiction: variable star observing. [Read more...]