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Cosmic Challenge: Seyfert's Sextet

Jul 06 2020 03:00 PM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Seyfert's Sextet, known to many as Hickson Compact Galaxy Group 79, is a tight gathering of galaxies in the northern corner of Serpens Caput. Serpens Caput is the western segment of this bisected constellation, marking the triangular head of the serpent that Ophiuchus is handling. Observing Seyfert's Sextet has been one of my pet projects for years. It's a fun little galactic rat pack for summer outings before we plunge headlong into the summer Milky Way.

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June - July Skies

Jul 06 2020 02:38 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Summer Solstice, Planet Plotting, June/July Moon Focus Constellations: Leo, Coma Berenices, Bootes, Ursa Major, Draco, Ursa Minor, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cygnus, Aquila, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Hercules, Corona Borealis

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Cosmic Challenge: Rupes Recta (Straight Wall), Huygen's Sword, Birt, and Rima Birt

Jun 01 2020 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

What is your favorite lunar feature? Maybe it's the mighty craters Copernicus or Tycho. Or could it be the historic Sea of Tranquility? Perhaps you enjoy visiting the rugged southern highlands around Clavius, or the Apennine and Alp Mountains. If I had to come up with my favorite target, it would have to be a far more modest sight. I always enjoy looking for and at the Straight Wall.

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Cosmic Challenge: Two Pairs

May 01 2020 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Most agree that the Messier catalog of deep-sky objects stands as the finest single compilation of star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies visible from the northern hemisphere. When it comes time to single out the finest of the list's 109 entries, however, we often have trouble agreeing. Is it the Orion Nebula, M42; the Great Globular Cluster, M13; or maybe the Ring Nebula, M57? So many choices! One thing is for certain -- you'll never find Messier's 40th entry on anyone's "finest" list.

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Cosmic Challenge: Leo Trio 2

Apr 01 2020 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

You have undoubtedly heard of the Leo Trio, made up of M65, M66, and NGC 3628. But how about the Leo Trio 2? The Leo Trio 2 are tucked snuggly into the constellation's northernmost quadrant, some 7┬░ north of the Leo "sickle."

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March 2020 Skies

Mar 04 2020 04:49 PM | cookman in This Month

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

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Cosmic Challenge: Arp 82

Mar 01 2020 07:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

The constellation Cancer the Crab may not be much to look at, but it holds some fascinating objects within its emaciated body. Case in point: Arp 82, the 82nd entry in Halton Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. Made up of NGC 2535 and NGC 2536, Arp 82 is a strange pair that seems to be experiencing a galactic version of arrested development.

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February 2020 Skies

Feb 06 2020 12:12 PM | cookman in This Month

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

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Cosmic Challenge: February 2020 NGC 2298

Feb 01 2020 07:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Although most globular clusters line the summer sky as they huddle around the core of our galaxy, there are a few renegades that have stepped out on their own to occupy regions far beyond the rest. One such globular, nestled behind the rich Milky Way star fields of Puppis, is NGC 2298.

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January 2020 Skies

Jan 12 2020 12:53 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Longest Night?, Planet Plotting, January Moon Focus Constellations: Pegasus, Pisces, Andromeda, Aries, Perseus, Taurus, Orion, Gemini, Auriga, Cancer, Leo, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Ursa Major, Draco, Ursa Minor, Cepheus, Cassiopeia

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