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Watching asteroids fly by

It was 23°F inside the observatory while we were observing the asteroid

Asteroid 2005 YU55 sketched November 8, 2011

Asteroid 2005 YU55 wasn’t my first visual observation of an asteroid passing near Earth, but preparing to view it brought back some great memories of our first one, asteroid 2002 NY40, nearly ten years ago.

Here’s a [...]

Solar System, Milky Way, Local Group, Extragalactic Observing

Comet/2010 G2 (HILL)

NGC7380 emission nebula and cluster

The Great Galaxy in Andromeda, M31, with M32 and M110 nearby

The Pegasus 1 galaxy cluster

I love to take my telescope out to observe the sky, and I find that the objects studied or discovered by scientists (from the past or the present) make for an [...]

Meteor observing tips - updated old blog for 2015

My meteor shower first aid kit

Waiting for moonset on Perseid night 2010, observing from Amboy Crater, CA

Notice elevated rates from August 7th-15th, and a secondary peak on the 17th, and the 20th?

Here’s what you can expect to see from a dark sky observing for several hours like the 2010 Perseids which [...]

Mission Juno Launch, August 5, 2011

The day before launch – Atlas V in 551 configuration (5-meter payload fairing, 5 solid rocket strap-ons). Under the fairing is a Centaur second stage and Juno.

Launch 12:25 p.m. EDT August 5, 2011

Bound for Jupiter – a plume sundial. You can tell the time of launch by the shadow of the plume [...]

A Dreamcatcher, And A Blanket Of Stars

Red Willow Dreamcatcher with Big Dipper and Milky Way

The Fisher Stars, painting courtesy of Edwin Bighetti, Mathais Colomb First Nation

Wesakaychak Pointing – courtesy of Edwin Bighetti, Mathais Colomb First Nation

In March 2010, I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre’s annual Science and [...]

Quadrans Muralis: a demoted constellation lives on as the radiant of the January Quadrantids

Johann Bode's 1801 Uranographia, showing Quadrans Murales, Boötes and other constellations

Boötes, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices and Quadrans Muralis

The Northeast sky Jan 4 at 1:00 a.m. PST. Look between Ursa Major and Minor, and the bright star Arcturus in Boötes for the location of Quadrans Muralis on the Boötes-Draco border

Looking Northeast [...]

The Perseids from Amboy Crater

Perseid Peak Aug 12-13 18h-7h UT

My Perseid count Aug 13 06h-11h UT

Sunset at Amboy Crater, with moon and Venus

Amboy Crater by day

For the past year I’ve been traveling to dark skies to observe and count meteors during the major showers. Armed with a clipboard and a comfy chair, I stare at [...]

A warm-up act for the Perseids

See the moon and planets low in the west August 12, courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

The view from Earth – the planetary lineup in orbital perspective courtesy NASA’s Solar System Simulator, courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mars and moon imaged same day with same equipment (in 2005) courtesy Jim Keen

A trio of planets, without the moon August 7, [...]

Free Telescope to first caller

Updated 1/1/2012

Before – 13.1-inch f/4.5 Coulter Odyssey 1

After – – note the original blue ground board

Update: A colleague at work had a telescope he wanted to give away. I advertised it and found someone who wanted it. Here’s a before and after image. The telescope has been reincarnated as you [...]

Moonrise over Chuckwalla Mountain

Moonrise over Chuckwalla Mountains July 3, 2010 about 11:30 p.m.

Third quarter moon, a half hour later

My small 70mm Televue Ranger was used for the moon images

Summer dark sky observing means short nights, and it’s usually too hot for comfort in the Colorado desert location we love. But Mojo and I decided [...]