Category Archives: Astronomy

Simple star-gazing, serious observing, studying the cosmos and cosmic events.

Announcement: Radio Astronomy Conference

In addition to the lectures, there will be great conversations, radio observations by KSL Labs – 12 GHz. Educational Radio Telescope and Radio Astronomy Supplies, 21cm Spectral and Continuum Radio Telescope, as well as music entertainment by the Scientists and Staff of Brookhaven National Laboratory (Stochastic Orchestra), all in the historic Custer Institute. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Radio, Astronomy, Conferences, Education, Events, Radio Astronomy | Leave a comment

“Earthrise” from the Moon, Animated

Another iconic (literally) moment was the capture of this photo, which came to define an entire new–there’s just no other way to say it–worldview. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, DIY, General Interest, History of Science, Observation, Optics, Photography, Space | 1 Comment

Citizen Science Musings: Amateurs and Astronomy

Addressing the Peninsula Astronomical Society at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA.

The bottom line of my presentation was that this column began as an amateur astronomy column in 1928, and remained so for the next 24 years. During that time, it was the go-to place for new innovations in mirror grinding, telescope mounts, and all the thousands of details that lie along the way. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Citizen Science Musings, Community, DIY, Events, Instrumentation, Makers and Making, Observation, Publishing, Space, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Amateur Radio Operators “Ping” Juno Satellite

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The idea was to coordinate the efforts of amateur radio operators all over the world, and send a message in Morse code that could be received by the University of Iowa-designed-and-built instrument on the Juno spacecraft. Continue reading…

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ISON Fades, But Lovejoy Remains

Comet Lovejoy as seen from Cape Schanck in Melbourne, Australia, last Friday.

The presently visible comet C/2013 R1 or Lovejoy was discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy in September this year. Continue reading…

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Sic Transit ISON

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Some comets like it hot, but Comet ISON was not one of them. Continue reading…

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A White Rabbit Heads for the Moon

A Long March 3B rocket carrying China's Chang'e 3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center early Monday Beijing time. Image: China Daily/Reuters

As of this writing, the Mangalyaan spacecraft has passed the Moon’s orbit and is heading in to deep space. Hot on it’s heels, so to speak, is China’s Long March 3B rocket carrying the Yutu rover to its destination on the Moon. Continue reading…

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ISON Fizzle? Maybe Not

Comet ISON appears as a white smear heading up and away from the sun on Thursday, November 28. Scientists initially thought the comet had been disintegrated by the sun, but images suggest a small nucleus may still be intact. Image: CNN

It now looks like some chunk of ISON’s nucleus has indeed made it through the solar corona, and re-emerged. It’s throwing off dust and (probably) gas, but we don’t know how long it can sustain that. Continue reading…

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Citizen Science Musings: Don’t Wait!

I had picked somewhere a pair of special filters mounted in cardboard eyewear frames that would let me safely observe the transit without frying my retinas over easy. As the day drew closer, the weather looked iffy, but the chances of seeing something were still there. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Best Practices, Citizen Science Musings, Education, Observation, Photography, Science Education, Space, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Viewer’s Guide to Comet ISON

Comet ISON on the morning of Oct. 8, seen with the 0.8-meter Schulman Telescope at the University of Arizona SkyCenter atop Mount Lemmon. Credit: Adam Block / CaelumObservatory.com, blogs.discovermagazine.com.

The comet is already visible in some areas with binoculars or a telescope, and is starting to become visible to the naked eye, particularly away from light pollution and on a clear night. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Breaking News, Instrumentation, Observation, Optics, Photography, Space | 1 Comment