January 2021
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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 [...]

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 [...]

November in Manitoba

Map of Manitoba showing Winnipeg, Nelson House and Churchill

RASC Ron Berard and Guy Westcott at speaker dinner before my RASC talk

my school talk at Otetiskiwin Kiskinwamahtowekamik K-8th school in Nelson House

Churchill, Polar Bear Capital of the world, on Hudson Bay

In early November 2010, I embarked on a wonderful ten-day speaking tour [...]

Lymphedema Sleeves demystified

How a lymphedema sleeve works

I learned about an amazing partnership this week. A partnership connecting women who suffer from lymphedema (demystified below) with free compression sleeves (also demystified below)! This is cross-posted from my friend Susan’s Tod­dler Planet blog post “Can’t Afford Lymphedema Sleeves?”

Crickett’s Answer, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in memory of Crickett [...]

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 [...]

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month - updated 2012

Every where you turn, you will be running into pink this month. Pink tic tacs, pink yogurt lids, pink Harry and David pears, pink airplanes, and even pink buckets of fried chicken! It’s Pinktober, aka Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are some cancer survivors who hate the pink, calling it pink nausea, reminding us that [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]