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Cosmic Challenge: Lunar Craters Messier and Messier A

May 31 2017 01:20 PM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Summer is in the offing here in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day of the year is at hand. While many of us enjoy the warmer weather, the dark of night comes late in the evening and leaves all too early the following morning. So while deep-sky observing is limited, we can still enjoy viewing our Moon even if the sky is still bright. Yes, observing challenges await us on our nearest neighbor in space.

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June 2017 Skies

May 31 2017 08:01 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Summer Solstice, Planet Plotting, June Moon Focus Constellations: Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cygnus, Lyra, Draco, Hercules, Bootes, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Camelopardalis, Lynx

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The Ages of Astrophotography 1839-2015

May 06 2017 07:36 AM | RefractorPhill in Books & Software

The author, Stefan Hughes, is a historian/ astronomer with a passion for astrophotography and genealogy (family tree research). His interest for ancestral research and the lineage of families gave rise to his first book "Catchers of the Light - The Forgotten Lives of the Men and Women who First Photographed the Heavens" in which he focuses on the background of the first astro photographers and astronomers 19th and 20th centuries. The second book, "The Ages of Astrophotography" is a must-read sequel which fits well on every astronomer's book shelf!

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May 2017 Skies

May 04 2017 09:27 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, May Moon Focus Constellations: Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cygnus, Lyra, Draco, Hercules, Bootes, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Camelopardalis, Lynx

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Cosmic Challenge: The Antennae

May 01 2017 12:45 PM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Seven decades ago, while scanning a Palomar Sky Survey plate of the area around brilliant Regulus in Leo the Lion, astronomers Robert Harrington (no relation) and A.G. Wilson noticed a faint blur of light just 1/2° north of the star. They may have thought at first that the glow was just an internal lens flare caused by stray starlight, but it soon became apparent that they had discovered something very real.

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April 2017 Skies

Apr 08 2017 08:02 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, April Moon Focus Constellations: Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Hercules, Bootes, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Camelopardalis, Lynx

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Cosmic Challenge: Leo I

Apr 01 2017 11:21 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Seven decades ago, while scanning a Palomar Sky Survey plate of the area around brilliant Regulus in Leo the Lion, astronomers Robert Harrington (no relation) and A.G. Wilson noticed a faint blur of light just 1/2° north of the star. They may have thought at first that the glow was just an internal lens flare caused by stray starlight, but it soon became apparent that they had discovered something very real.

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So, you want to make an Observing Chair?

Mar 17 2017 10:33 AM | rboe in Articles

At some point we all wish we had a chair to plant our bum on while at the scope. I’ve written this little ditty to share what I’ve learned so that perhaps you can make mistakes totally different from the ones I made (and I seem to continue making them). Like any woodworker I have my biases, preferred ways to do things (e.g. mortice and tenon joints) but for the observing chairsI present here there are lots of options open to you; consider your budget, skills and available tools to make your choices.

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March 2017 Skies

Mar 04 2017 09:39 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers,Vernal Equinox, Planet Plotting, March Moon Focus Constellations: Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Orion, Taurus, Auriga, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Bootes, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Lynx, Camelopardalis

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Cosmic Challenge: Jonckheere 900

Mar 04 2017 08:03 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Few amateur astronomers are familiar with the name Robert Jonckheere. Jonckheere was a French double-star observer who conducted research at a number of observatories over his six-decade career, including the Strasbourg Observatory in France, the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England, as well as McDonald Observatory in Texas.

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