Friday, February 23rd, 2018

In an earlier post I think I ended by asking the question, “Why is the sky dark?” I did answer that question, didn’t I? No? How about now? It’s time to exercise your imagination a little. Remember that the light from each star has been traveling for millions of years before finally reaching our eyeballs. […]

As a wannabe amateur astronomer at an old folks home, I find I am definitely sky-challenged. From my “observatory” on the back patio of our cottage, I can view perhaps ten percent of the sky-dome. To the north I can see Polaris peeking over the ridge of our roof. To the east, I can view […]

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade, Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid. -Alfred, Lord Tennyson You are looking at a star cluster called Pleiades, a.k.a. Messier object 45 (M45), or Seven Sisters. (At this point you can be excused if you look back at […]

A while ago I posted a picture of The Pelican Nebula, only to find that many imagination-challenged readers could not see a Pelican. It so happens that in the same patch of sky there is this nebula. I hope everyone will be able to see the North American continent, from Alaska to Mexico. This picture […]

There are a whole bunch of stars over our patio, home of Stella the telescope. Lately I have been training her to keep in step with the rotation of the earth. Stars, after all, should be nice and round in the picture, not oblong or worse. No doubt you would like to know how many […]

Let our amazement not become dulled in this age of unbelievable space exploration. Ponder this image from Astronomy Picture of the Day for April 14. There is a space vehicle way out there, following a path prescribed by the laws of physics set down by Isaac Newton around 1700 and carrying a wee camera that […]

Isn’t this a beautiful galaxy? I gathered the photons for this image with the help of Adam Block at the Mt. Lemon SkyCenter just north of Tucson, using their big 32-inch Schulman telescope. For more information about this image, go here. I’m writing this on Easter Sunday, 2013. With Christians all around the world, today […]

[data acquired by Adam Block] I recently purchased another of Adam Block’s excellent video tutorials on turning astronomical telescope data into pretty pictures. The data for this image were acquired by Adam Block at the University of Arizona Skycenter. The thumb drive containing the tutorial files also contained data to be processed while following the […]

The big bright one in the middle is the star Alnitak, left-most star on mighty hunter Orion’s belt. Close by is the Flame Nebula and, if you look closely and squint a little, the Horsehead Nebula is poking up to the right. The photons were gathered on November 16, 2012. For the nit-pickers out there, […]

There is a small patch of sky down near the end of Orion’s sword tailor-made for budding astro-photographers with limited resources. This is because it is very bright and big enough to fill an image captured by a small telescope, and telescopes don’t come much smaller than my “Stella,” so named because it was manufactured […]