August 2020
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The Crescent Moon

The moon's summer and winter path, courtesy NASA's Starchild website

The winter’s moon – a smiling crescent just after sunset Feb 5, 2011 (click to see moon upper center)

Closeup of winter crescent moon

The summer's "backwards C" crescent moon at sunset, late June 2007 (click to see moon in lower right)

Closeup [...]

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, [...]

Oh, No! Not the return of the Mars in August email :-(

Size comparison of Mars (at closest and furthest approach) and the moon

See Mars and the moon near one another in mid August

2010 marks the eighth annual return of 2003′s Mars In August email.

The email always says something about Mars appearing as large as the moon, but there are annual variations to the [...]

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 [...]

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

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 [...]

LCROSS impact in crater Cabeus October 09 2009

Rough sketch of LCROSS impact area

finished sketch of Cabeus and environs

E. A. Whitaker 1954 sketch

Mojo and I started to setup his 14.5-inch f/4.8 Litebox reflector at 3:30 a.m. on LCROSS impact morning. There were marine layer clouds at that hour, but by the time we were set up it was clear [...]