jump to navigation

Cosmic Light 2015 Video Trailer – To celebrate the cosmic light coming down to earth | IAU August 11, 2014

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Cosmic Light 2015 Video Trailer – To celebrate the cosmic light coming down to earth | IAU.

IYA was awesome, and many great things came out of it. I don’t know yet if great things will come from IYL, but the trailer sure is cool.

Advertisements

Build a Sun Funnel | Venustransit May 14, 2012

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, Galileoscope, MichiganAstro.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Build a Sun Funnel | Venustransit.

Got a small telescope and want to SAFELY observe the transit of Venus? Build a Sun Funnel!

If your small telescope happens to be a Galileoscope (or another ‘scope with plastic lenses) you’ll want to check out this page first: http://galileoscope.org/observing-activity-guides/observing-the-sun-safely/

Not only is the Sun Funnel a safe way to observe the Sun, it can also show the Sun off to several people at once, so it’s also ideal for public events and star parties (hey, the Sun is a star!)

Morning planets March 30, 2011

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, Galileoscope, MichiganAstro.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

I just wanted to do a quick post to highlight some upcoming observing opportunities.

First up, tomorrow morning (March 31) the waning crescent moon will be very close to Venus in the pre-dawn sky. Venus is getting low, so the Moon can be a big help if you have trouble finding it.

Venus continues to hang out in the morning skies for April, but the fun comes at the end of the month. In the last few days of the month, Venus is joined by Mercury, Mars and Jupiter. Keep a special eye out on the mornings of April 29 for the apogee cresent moon (one of the smallest of the year) and on April 30, when an old moon joins the planets in a tight cluster.  It’ll be twilight for all of this, so you’ll need a pair of binoculars or a small ‘scope for everything except the Moon and Venus.

The end of May brings one of the best aspects of Mercury all year.  May 30 should be especially nice with Jupiter, Mars, the old moon, Venus and Mercury all spread out in a line.

Of course all these nice morning planets carries a downside. The only thing out in the evening is Saturn. Of course that is my favorite planet to watch with my Galileoscope!

Jupiter at Opposition September 16, 2010

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, Galileoscope, MichiganAstro.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

It is Sept. 16 2010 as I write this. On Sept 20, Jupiter will be the closest it has been to Earth since 1963, and it won’t get as close again until 2022.  In other words, it’s the best view of the giant planet for decades.

It is at opposition on the 21, so on the 20 it will rise just a little after sunset, and be a it’s highest around midnight solar time (that’s about 1:30 AM in SE Michigan).  After opposition, it moves slowly into the evening sky, so you’ll have plenty of convenient opportunities in the next couple of months to watch it slowly shrink in the evening skies. Just look to the east, you can’t miss it (unless its cloudy of course…)

It was just over 400 years ago the Galileo turned his telescope on the giant planet and spotted 4 tiny points of light all in a line.  We now call those the Galilean Moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. With Jupiter so close, they should be easy to spot, event through a Galileoscope or pair of binoculars.  You can figure out which moon is which using this handy JavaScript applet from sky and telescope:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/javascript/jupiter
So why are you still reading this? Get out there and look up!