General

Meteors Tonight!

Don’t forget to go out after midnight and check out the Perseid Meteor shower. Its one of the best of the year and the moon sets early. The peak of the shower is very broad so try to see them the next night if clouds interfere. We went out around 2:00 AM this morning and …

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RSS Readers

If you want to keep track of new postings at Dogstar Observatory you might want to consider using a RSS reader. Some browsers like Firefox and Chrome have them built in or you can use free Web-based readers like Feedly or Digg. Using RSS you can follow postings on popular blogs without having to visit …

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April Skies

The planets are still giving us a fine show this month. Nothing quite as spectacular as the conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Venus but there is still time to get great views of Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter this month. Venus is still the brightest object in the sky but will be slowly sinking …

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March Skies

All hail the God of War! To the Romans Mars celebrated Mars in the month of March (Martius in Latin) root of many military words including martial. This month he reigns again as Mars reaches opposition (directly opposite the Earth on the same side of the Sun) and peak visibility over the next two months …

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ISS Over Atlanta

We have been in Atlanta the past couple of weeks but that has not stopped my sky gazing and occasional photography. This is a 6 second time exposure of the International Space Station (ISS) passing over the city. I wanted to capture it along with the skyline but the angle was not right on that …

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November Skies

November is a great month for star gazing. Cold and dry autumn nights combined with Balsam’s dark skies will provide great viewing conditions. Just remember to dress warmly! Jupiter is still king of the night skies and well positioned for viewing the entire month. See how many moons you can see with your naked eyes. …

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October Skies

October is a good time to rent the wonderful movie October Sky for your kids and grand kids. Based on the book Rocket Boys, its the true story of Homer Hickam about a coal miner’s son who was inspired by the launch of Sputnik to become an engineer against his father’s wishes. Homer went on …

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September Skies

As fall approaches nights are getting longer and drier – a big plus for astronomers and fans of the night sky. The past week at Balsam have shown us what the fall skies can be with cool, dry nights and the summer milky way arching overhead. This month the planet show picks up a notch …

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Our neighbor galaxies

I am way behind processing and posting images taken at Dogstar Observatory. The work of taking astronomical images is like keeping a high performance race car in top condition. It is mostly an engineering challenge keeping all the myriad electronic, mechanical and software products working together. Processing and publishing images is more like artistic expression. …

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