August 21, 2018

July 2011: Life in the Astro-Blogosphere.

July means lightning photography season at Astroguyz HQ…(Photo by Author).

Ah, the seventh month of the calendar year is upon us. July brings our home-world of Earth to aphelion, the start of a new saros, and a look at a fascinating asteroid… and oh yes, the end of a certain low-Earth orbit delivery system. What follows is a sneak peak of what’s up in the July sky and coming to an astro-blog near you;

Coming to a Sky near You: July 1st sees a remote partial solar eclipse and the start of a new saros #156… but will any obsessed eclipse chaser be on hand off the shores of Antarctica to witness it? The 4th sees our planet Earth at aphelion and its farthest point from the Sun, a fact that ameliorates our northern hemisphere climate somewhat during the current epoch. We’ll also take a look at the fascinating close double star Porrima this month, a star that’s been getting a fair amount of telescopic attention as it pairs with Saturn. And by some celestial reckonings, the 12th is the planet Neptune’s “Birthday” as it completes one full orbit since it was first spotted in 1846. [Read more...]

Review: Burnham’s Celestial Handbook.

A few decades back, I mentioned to a friend at a local planetarium of my enduring interest in astronomy. “Surely, then, “ he said pulling out a three volume set, “you have these…” I did not at the time, but I had indeed heard the legends. The books were Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, a three volume compendium on observational astronomy. A few weeks back we did a piece on the man, Robert Burnham Jr. and his tempestuous life; now I’d like to break with tradition a bit a provide a review of this indispensable astronomical classic. [Read more...]

Searching for Robert Burnham.

Sometimes, the quietest minds among us also have the most to share with the world.

Last month, on a warm summer’s day in August, the East Valley Astronomy Club, in connection with the Robert Burnham Jr. Memorial Fund, honored a man with the dedication of a small plaque placed on the Pluto walk at the Lowell Observatory. That man is probably the most unknown, but influential amateur astronomer of the 20th century; Robert Burnham Jr. a man that but for a singular colossal work, might have passed on into total obscurity. The book is Burnham’s Celestial Handbook, a three volume guide to the wonders of the night sky. [Read more...]