Two planets in the sky

There are two prominent planets in the night sky this fall season, both of them very easy to spot with the naked eye. As the sun sets in the south west, you’ll notice a very bright “star” hovering about 2 fist-widths above the horizon. This is Venus. Venus is so Read More …

Fiery tail, riding high

Want to see a comet? Alright, here's how. Around 8:30pm, go outside and look at the west-southwest horizon. Look almost 90° upwards (okay, 81° to be exact) You're now looking at comet Machholz C/2004 Q2. This comet will be rising in the south eastern sky before nightfall and make its Read More …

Because I care

Law of Universal Gravitation Every object in the Universe attracts every other object with a force directed along the line of centers for the two objects that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the separation between the two objects. God I Read More …

Well, they did it.

Scientists, using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile, have finally imaged for the first time a planet outside our own solar system. The planet is 225 light years away from us (that's 225 times 6 TRILLION miles away) and is about 1.5 times the size of Jupiter. Read More …

Mr. Spacely

Counting stars by candlelight, all are dim but one is bright; The spiral light of venus, rising first and shining best, On, from the northwest corner, of a brand new crescent moon, While crickets and cicadas sing, a rare and different tune, Terrapin station.

The gods must be teasing me

Warm weather at night, but skies completely conceiled by a high overcast. For the past week. With light pollution to add insult. All the well, I've taken a sturdy cardboard box and a sharp knife and began constructing my aperture mask. I did the calculations and I'll need to make Read More …

Cloudy Nights

The past few nights here have been completely overcast with not even a break in the clouds. The other night I went down to Company 7 and picked up two things – a upgraded finder scope that is of the same spec as the one that came with my XT10 Read More …

More on Saturn and the Moon

I dragged my scope up to UMBC tonight to get another view of Saturn. Despite the light pollution from Baltimore, I got a pretty good view and studied it for a while. Although my eyes were tearing from the cold, I saw a better picture of the Cassini Division in Read More …

The Celestial Poles

Rob Carlson responded to my post last night about Precession and asked about the Northern Celestial Pole (NCP) I mentioned. Explaining this deserves its own entry, so here we go. We all know that Earth rotates on its polar axis. This gives us night and day. This makes the Sun Read More …