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Spring stargazing: the Milky Way and beyond!

Follow the dipper arc to Arcturus, then spike to Spica

Omega Centauri globular cluster 35 degrees below Spica

Springtime is my favorite observing season. In the course of an evening you can face away from our own galaxy and feast your eyes on other Milky Ways, while tracking down some of the most spectacular [...]

Observing in the neighborhood

Summer Milky Way, Scorpius and dark nebulae, image by Morris Jones

Observing near the summer solstice means a short observing night sandwiched between a late sunset and an early dawn. Rather than rush through an observing project I find it’s a great time of the year to sit back and trace familiar constellations in my [...]

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 [...]

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 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, [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]