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Cosmic Challenge: Izar [Epsilon (ε) Boötis]

Jun 01 2022 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Finding this month's challenge object is no challenge at all unless you are trying to starhop to it from the inner city. That can be tough, but for everyone else, Izar (Epsilon [ε] Boötis) is visible easily by eye to the northeast of brilliant Arcturus (Alpha [α] Boötis) as one of six stars that make up the constellation's distinctive kite shape. Swing your telescope its way and it still looks like a single star, as it does to the naked eye. So, what's the attraction?

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The Skies of June, 2022

Jun 01 2022 05:00 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Summer Solstice, Planet Plotting, June Moon Focus Constellations: Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Leo Minor, Leo, Coma Berenices, Canes Venatici, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra

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The Skies of May, 2022

May 07 2022 06:17 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, May Moon Focus Constellations: Ursa Minor, Ursa Major, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Leo Minor, Leo, Coma Berenices, Canes Venatici, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra

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Three Simple iOptron Improvements

May 01 2022 05:00 AM | Michael Covington in Articles

In what follows I want to tell you about three things I've done to improve my early-model iOptron GEM45 mount. With a bit of adapting, you can apply the same ideas to many other mounts, both iOptron and other brands.

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Cosmic Challenge: Quasar 3C 273

May 01 2022 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Whenever my neighbor (I'll call him "Joe") sees me at one of my telescopes, he'll come over and ask "so, how far can you see with that thing?" Every time! You've also probably met someone like Joe. Well, unless you have a double-digit telescope, your answer should probably be "2.4 billion light years."

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The Skies of April, 2022

Apr 04 2022 10:55 AM | cookman in This Month

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

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Cosmic Challenge: Polarissima

Apr 01 2022 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

In astronomy, as in real estate, we have the Three Ls: location, location, location. NGC 3172 is a challenge for all seasons -- literally -- as its location keeps it above the horizon throughout the year no matter what time of night you are looking. That's because NGC 3172 lies within 1° of the North Celestial Pole, closer than any other NGC object.

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The Skies of March, 2022

Mar 06 2022 12:01 PM | cookman in This Month

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

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Cosmic Challenge: Beehive Galaxies

Mar 01 2022 07:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Hidden among the stars of M44 are no fewer than eight distant galaxies. Until 1987, most of us knew nothing of them. That was the year when the Uranometria 2000.0 star atlas was published. It showed the sky to a depth never before captured in a convenient star atlas format, and immediately shed light on thousands of objects that no amateurs, except possibly for a few extreme deep-sky hunters, even knew existed.

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The Skies of February, 2022

Feb 05 2022 07:03 PM | cookman in This Month

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

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