EYES TO THE SKY June 12 – June 25, 2017

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Closest, brightest and most visible for the year, planet Saturn rises looking like a gold-tinted star above the southeast horizon around the time the Sun sets opposite, in the northwest. In astronomy, when two celestial bodies appear opposite each other in Earth’s sky, it is known as “opposition.” This year’s Saturn opposition occurs when Earth […]

EYES TO THE SKY May 30 – June 11, 2017

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I first glimpsed the image above as the cover design for astrophysicists Leon Golub and Jay Pasachoff’s latest book, The Sun, to be released around the time of the summer solstice. Lingering with the photograph, its burning radiance and swirling movement seems to convey the formative, essential light at the beginning of our planet’s history. […]

May 15 – 28, 2017

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When evening twilight deepens, Corvus the Crow takes flight, easily spotted in the south 20 to 30 degrees above the horizon in dark and moderately dark skies. To measure 10 degrees above the skyline, extend an arm at eye level and look out over your closed fist kept hovering above a spot where sky meets […]

Eyes To The Sky May 1 – 14, 2017

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An Active Sun During a Total Eclipse Explanation: Sometimes, a total eclipse of the Sun is an opportunity. Taking advantage of such, the above image shows the solar eclipse earlier this month [on November 11, 2013] as covered and uncovered by several different solar observatories. The innermost image shows the Sun in ultraviolet light as […]

EYES TO THE SKY

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Amateur astronomers are among the most knowledgeable and dedicated students of astronomy. True to the root of the word “amateur” (from the French and Italian ‘amatore,’ with its root in the Latin ‘amare,’ to love), they are, in my experience, eager to share their knowledge and love of the universe. For this purpose, amateur astronomy
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EYES TO THE SKY April 3 – 16, 2017

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When the spring star Arcturus is first spotted rising in the east-northeast at nightfall it sparks our awareness of the changing sky. Spring constellations are rising as winter’s hallmark patterns are setting. Arcturus (Greek arctos ‘bear’ + ouros ‘guardian’ = guardian of the bear), in the constellation Bootes the Herdsman, and Ursa Major, the
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EYES TO THE SKY March 20 – April 2, 2017

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By the sun’s path in the sky today – and not far off as March turns to April – we can read that spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere. As day dawns at 6:29 a.m. on the 20th, the sun reaches the midpoint of its journey between the extremes marked by the winter and […]

EYES TO THE SKY March 6 – 19, 2017

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Wake up early and go out, as in a dream, to rendezvous with a ringed planet, a giant scorpion, a centaur that is an archer and the king of the gods planet. Constellations that appear in winter’s pre-dawn sky are most familiar seen as patterns of summer nights, so it is particularly intriguing to see […]

EYES TO THE SKY February 21 – March 5, 2017

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The ideal time for stargazing is when the sky is darkest. This occurs during the week leading up to new moon (no visible moon) when the moon is waning and visible as a crescent in the early morning sky and continues during the first week following new moon when Luna is waxing and visible as […]

EYES TO THE SKY February 6 – 19, 2017

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Tonight, an oval moon shines from the center of the broad Winter Circle, also known as the Winter Hexagon, which is shaped by the season’s most outstanding stars. Please refer to the addendum and illustrations for details. Similar to last month, the waxing (increasing in size) gibbous (greater than half) moon moves within and to […]