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My first view of Comet ISON

Comet ISON October 6, 2013 by Jane Houston Jones

All year long, astronomers have been writing about Comet ISON: will it sizzle or will it fizzle? I was chomping at the bit, waiting for the visual magnitude to brighten enough to try viewing this comet through my own telescope (shown on the right). Finally, the [...]

My first view of Comet PanSTARRS 3/11/13

Sunday morning (Sunday March 10) we drove home from a wonderful Amboy Crater observing night. As we drove up our street, we have a good view of Mt. Wilson and the telescopes, as you can see here. My Comet PanSTARRS sketches (and astrophotos tomorrow) from near the Mt. Wilson Observatory (but on the other side [...]

What's Up in 2013 - at a glance

All year long, astronomers have been writing about Comet ISON: will it sizzle or will it fizzle? Both! Here’s my What’s Up video, with December status (written in mid November, but luckily, the comet didn’t completely fizzle)

ISON in December 2013

Comet ISON first spotted by amateur astronomer Bruce Gary and has been imaged by many [...]

Venus kissed the moon - a daytime occultation of Venus




Venus reappears!

If you were up before sunrise on Monday, August 13th, 2012 you might have seen a very bright “star” next to the moon. As dawn turned to daylight, you could still see that star, or rather, that planet in the daytime snuggled up to the crescent moon.

That planet was [...]

Counting meteors from Amboy Crater - Lyrids 2012

Amboy Crater at dawn

2012 Lyrid Meteor Shower Meteor Profile showing peak near 04h-06h UTC

My visual meteor observing report with 30 minute (or less) intervals, and magnitude distribution

Saturday night, April 21, Mojo and I headed to our new favorite dark sky spot, Amboy Crater, one of the darkest observing locations in the US. [...]

Viewing meteor showers from light polluted LA - not impossible!

The white area is greater Los Angeles. I observed from my driveway in Monrovia, indicated at the "red/white" border zone marked with cross-hairs

My meteor watching setup – comfortable chair, blanket, clipboard, red flashlights, clock, binoculars, snacks

The graph shows the ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate), which is the number of meteors an observer would [...]

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 [...]

A Month of Moon views

Lunar Landing Site Chart – click for larger versions. Courtesy Lunar and Planetary Institute

My photo of a three day moon. East is at the bottom. Mare Crisium is the egg-shaped feature on east limb.

Here’s my photo of a five-six day moon, near first quarter. East is at bottom here too. The middle [...]

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 [...]