December 2021
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A morning comet

Use a chart like this to locate where to look for your object

Can you find the constellation Perseus and comet McNaught in Mojo’s lovely skyscape?

Mojo's photo of Comet McNaught

Quick comet sketch with notes. See the long ion tail, the bright coma, and the short dust tail in my sketches

Comet C/2009 [...]

A Ten Planet Night

Jupiter: Past and Present Spots/Impacts

December 1690 sketch of new dark spot on Jupiter by G. D. Cassini and changes to the spot over 18 days

My first sketch of SL 9 impacts on Jupiter July 18, 1994.

My July 26, 2009 sketch of the impact on Jupiter, discovered by Anthony Wesley (upper left 11-o’clock spot)

Anthony Wesley's preliminary [...]

A visit to the Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility

I’m putting my hands inside the neophrene gloves, which are now filled with nitrogen

Jane and JPL outreach colleagues give 3 lunar samples a thumbs up.

While attending the 41st Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference in The Woodlands, TX (a suburb of Houston) in early March 2010, I was lucky enough to visit the Johnson [...]

A Runaway Star and the Flaming Star Nebula

IC 405 and AE Aurigae

Stardate: Saturday November 14, 2009.
Place: Chuckwalla Bench Observing Site
Equipment: 12.5-inch Litebox Reflector, f/5.75 Pierrre Schwaar mirror
Sky conditions: Better than expected (clear, steady, good transparancy, but cold)

Mojo and I try to head out to our favorite dark sky observing spot every new moon Saturday night. Usually several of our Old [...]

Flying through the Leonid Storm of 1999

ARIA Advanced Radar Instrument Aircraft

Jane boarding the ARIA

4 of the 6 IMCU team members in front of ARIA

November 1999: 10 days, 40 flying hours, 65 researchers and Air Force personnel, five members of the press, seven Air Force bases (four US, two UK, one Azores), 6 amateur astronomers, three aircraft, 15,251 [...]

Dorothea Klumpke, airborne Leonid pioneer

Dorothea Klumpke

As I prepare a blog down memory lane, recalling my own airborne observations of the 1999 Leonid Storm, I wanted to share the adventures of the first woman airborne Leonid pioneer, Dorothea Klumpke.

Over one hundred years ago, American born astronomer Dorothea Klumpke flew through the Leonids in a balloon. She was the first [...]

Spooky Halloween Observing, 2014 edition

The ghoul on the moon

NGC 246 the Skull Nebula

IC 2118 Witch Head Nebula

It’s time to get out the Milky Way and Mars candy bars, the Moon Pies and the Starburst chews. It’s Halloween! The moon — just past first quarter — will greet your trick or treaters this year. A first quarter [...]

The Big Eye Candy Mountains

Public star party at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

Our tent and telescopes, OSP, Ochoco National Forest, OR

I was inspired to hum this old hobo ballad and change the words a little
after a summer observing trip to Glacier Point in Yosemite National
Park. For you musicologists, I added my “observations” to the 1928
recording of Big [...]