Category Archives: Stargazing

My First Attempts at Astrophotography

So, I won a nice astronomical camera in a raffle at the recent AAS conference, and since there was a lunar eclipse last night, I wanted to try it out with my telescope to get pictures. This didn’t go as … Continue reading

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Sunday’s Total Lunar Eclipse

On the night of Sunday-Monday, January 20-21, there will be a total lunar eclipse. (Official NASA info.) This eclipse will be especially significant because it will be the first total lunar eclipse visible from most or all of North America … Continue reading

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See Comet Lovejoy While You Can

This is Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). Like many comets, it has a bright green color due to the fluorescence of diatomic carbon molecules in its tail, broken off from its surface. And most notably, Comet Lovejoy is visible to the … Continue reading

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In the sky: supernova in M82!

The little arrow in the picture is pointing to SN 2014J, a new supernova in the M82 galaxy. It may not look like much in this picture, but it’s getting brighter. Here’s a more recent photo, as of January 25. … Continue reading

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Watch Comet ISON skim the Sun tomorrow

On Thanksgiving Day, the much-anticipated perihelion passage of Comet ISON will occur, and astronomers around the world will be watching. NASA is turning its fleet of Sun-observing spacecraft to watch as ISON plunges toward a fiery date with death or … Continue reading

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Two naked-eye comets in the northern skies

The northern hemisphere has been drawing the short straw when it comes to comets for the last few years. The last few really bright comets have all been in the southern sky. But that streak finally appears to be ending, … Continue reading

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In the sky: Venus

Venus, the nearest planet to Earth, has long been an object of interest in the heavens. It is the brightest point-like object in the sky (for now: it only narrowly edges out the International Space Station), and aside from the … Continue reading

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In the sky: Nova Delphini 2013

A rare event is happening this month–one that only happens once every few years–a naked eye nova is visible in the night sky. This is not a supernova, but what is sometimes called a “classical nova”, literally, a “new” star … Continue reading

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In the sky: the Perseids

The most reliable and visible of the dozens and dozens of meteor showers that occur over the course of the year is the Perseid shower. The Perseids occur every year in July and August when Earth passes through the tail … Continue reading

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Comet ISON update

The Hubble Space Telescope has taken new images of Comet ISON, a sungrazing comet that, it is hoped, will become the brightest comet in living memory this December. The video above is probably the best look we’ll get at ISON … Continue reading

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