Lights out!

Its that time again for my annual reminder about the importance of reducing outdoor lighting. The night sky has been slowly getting brighter over the 14 years we have been at Balsam. Its mostly due to the growth in our neighbor towns and communities but Balsam residents can do their part to preserve the night …

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Bird Weather

For all you birders out there, you can now easily keep track of the species that are hanging around your backyard. Cornell University pioneered the BirdNet app for mobile phones which automatically recognizes birds by their call and can upload the result to the Birdweather web site. The same system has been developed as the …

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Moon Monday

Astrophotographers usually take a break on nights with a full or near full moon since it washes out the light from much dimmer galaxies and nebula. Last month’s full moon was on an otherwise clear night so I grabbed some quick images just to make sure everything in the observatory was working.

Triangulum Galaxy

Also known as Messier 33 (M33), its one of our local group neighbor galaxies at only 2.7 million light years away. The local group’s more famous and visible member, Andromeda (M31) is larger and only 2.5 million light years away. M33 “only” has about 40 billion stars compared over 100 billion for the Milky Way. …

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