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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 [...]

Black-eyed Peas - A New Year's traditional meal 2,000 years old

Happy New Year from Jane and Mojo

Warming my 2011 New Year’s Day black-eyed peas in a crock pot, with paprika dusted cornbread on the side

Mojo’s dad, John Paul (JP) Jones, served black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day several years ago when we were visiting him in Florida. I loved them, asked him for [...]

Autumn observing - around the South Galactic Pole

Herald-Bobroff Astroatlas

Astroatlas B Chart page for Grus and Telescopium, well below Capricornus and Sagittarius

NGC131 and 134 and a 5-spot of mag 10 stars

NGC55 image by Morris Jones, used with permission

While Mojo and I were observing at Amboy Crater on October 22, 2011, Cliff, another observer at the site pointed [...]

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 [...]

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 Micro-Vacation to Savannah Georgia

A room with a view – overlooking beautiful Jones Street

Chippewa Square, location of Forrest Gump's bench scenes

Back in November 2010 I took a micro-vacation to Savannah, Georgia. Even though my visit was less than 24 hours long, I packed a lot of sightseeing into my short visit. I was traveling from Atlanta, Georgia, [...]