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 […]

January 23 – February 5, 2017

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On crystal clear winter nights in the countryside and dark sky reaches of the suburbs, we are graced with a view of the Milky Way – the mysterious, glowing band of stars and stardust that arcs overhead. Early, when darkness gathers at about 6:30pm, Perseus the Hero appears in the middle of the arc at […]

EYES TO THE SKY January 9 – 22, 2017

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As twilight deepens these January evenings the most celebrated constellation of the winter sky, Orion the Hunter, stretches out along the east-southeast horizon. The impression is of a resting giant, from his radiant red shoulder star, Betelgeuse, to his foot star, luminous bluish-white Rigel, with three dimmer stacked stars midway between. The three form a […]

Eyes to the Sky December 12 – 25, 2016 See Aldebaran disappear, Long Night Moon, solstice sun

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The thrill of being present for events in the natural world might not elicit cheers of triumph as when experiencing feats of physical prowess, all the same, waves of delight course through the observer, every cell refreshed with a sense of receiving grace and enlightenment. Tonight, December 12 – 13, if the weather cooperates, from […]

EYES TO THE SKY November 28 – December 11, 2016

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An ideal week for planet and stargazing unfolds as November turns to December. Stargazing begins in the afternoon with the setting of the star of our solar system, the sun, as it approaches its most southerly reach on the horizon, nearly directly southwest. Sunset on November 28th is 4:30pm and from December 1 through the […]