December 11, 2017

AstroEvent: An Arctic Partial Solar Eclipse.

(Credit: Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA’s GSFC).

Are you a frustrated astronomer “North of the 60°”? Are you tired of hearing about the dark sky exploits by friends in the lower 48 while you are immersed in the astro-hell of never-ending daylight? Trust me, we’ve been there; we spent 4 years living in North Pole, Alaska just outside Fairbanks, [Read more...]

AstroEvent: Can You Spy the Zodiacal Light?

This week’s astronomy challenge is seasonal for mid-latitude observers. Around the time of the equinox, the ecliptic meets the horizon at a favorable angle and a unique phenomenon may become apparent: the zodiacal light. This diffuse band of light can be briefly seen after sunset or before sunrise from a moderately dark location.

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18.01.11: The Signs They Are a Changin’

Sextans…the 14th sign? (Created by the Author in Starry night).

OK. By now, you know that your astrological sign isn’t what you were always told it was. Last week, (non-) news broke that according to astronomy, not only were the zodiacal signs wrong, but the Sun actually passes through a 13th sign, that of Ophiuchus. The astrology-minded scrambled, desperately trying to conceive not only what a ‘serpent bearer’ should be like, but how to pronounce it. [Read more...]

Astro Event of the Week: December 15th-21st: The Winter Solstice.

Take heart, those based in chilly northern climes; the Winter Solstice is on the way. This is the point at which the Sun reaches its most southerly declination as seen from the tilted Earth and begins its long migration northward.

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Astro-Event of the Week, June 17th-24th 2008

   The Summer Solstice is upon us: time to set those sun dials…  This week marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere, a yearly event in which the sun pauses at its farthest passage north as seen from the Earth and begins its long trek south. This is not a spectacular observational event, and the summer solstice  itself only marks a specific moment: June 20th, 2008 at 07:59PM, EDT. What makes this event special is that in 2008, it occurs extremely early, in fact, the earliest since 1896. [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...]