June 2024
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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 [...]

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

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 [...]

Stay strong and fight cancer

Today a friend told me about her mum. “She has cancer in her
bones, a long slow ticking time bomb” and my friend also also just found out yesterday her 48 year-old sister has breast cancer.

She wrote “I remembered how strong you were recently with Mojo and your sister’s cancer. How is your [...]

The Chuckwallas of Amboy Crater

Once a year the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers pack tents and telescopes and caravan to Black Canyon Group Campground in Mojave National Preserve, an hours drive from Amboy Crater and about 3 hours from home.

Once the tents are pitched we put on a star party with assistance from the National Preserve staff, leaders of the [...]