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Cosmic Challenge: NGC 1 and NGC 2

Dec 01 2019 07:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

As 2019 draws to an end, let's talk about a first. I am always interested in seeing the first of anything, whether it's the first day of a new year, the opening day of baseball season, the first robin of spring, the first snowflake of winter, or the first object in a particular deep-sky catalog. In the case of the latter, NGC 1, along with NGC 2, create our final challenge of the year.

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November 2019 Skies

Nov 12 2019 10:28 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Asteroid Surprises, The Transit of Mercury, Planet Plotting, November Moon Focus Constellations: Lyra, Aquila, Cygnus, Pegasus, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Andromeda, Perseus, Taurus. Auriga, Camelopardalis, Ursa Major, Draco, Ursa Minor, Cepheus, Cassiopeia

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Cosmic Challenge: Satellites of Uranus

Nov 01 2019 05:00 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Of the 27 known satellites in the Uranian family, four stand out, just as the four Galilean satellites do among the Jovian clan. William Herschel discovered the first two Uranian moons on January 11, 1787, six years after he had discovered the planet itself. The next two remained undetected until the British astronomer William Lassell (1799-1880) spotted them on October 24, 1851. It is these four that we hope to catch through our own telescopes.

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October Skies

Oct 10 2019 03:01 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Quiet Sun, Planet Plotting, October Moon Focus Constellations: Hercules, Lyra, Aquila, Cygnus, Pegasus, Pisces, Aries, Andromeda, Perseus, Taurus. Auriga, Camelopardalis, Ursa Major, Draco, Ursa Minor, Cepheus, Cassiopeia

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Cosmic Challenge: The Deer Lick Group

Oct 01 2019 05:03 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

The autumn sky abounds with little bundles of galaxies scattered throughout its stars. One of the best known is the group of 7 galaxies that surround the magnificent spiral NGC 7331 in Pegasus, the Flying Horse. An observer could easily spend an hour or more just soaking in all that this small patch of sky has to offer.

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September 2019 Skies

Sep 06 2019 07:36 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Autumnal Equinox, Planet Plotting, September Moon Focus Constellations: Bootes, Corona Borealis, Ophiuchus, Hercules, Lyra, Aquila, Cygnus, Pegasus, Andromeda, Perseus, Camelopardalis, Ursa Major, Draco, Ursa Minor, Cepheus, Cassiopeia

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Cosmic Challenge: Emission Nebula Simeis 57

Sep 01 2019 10:16 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Simeis 57 is one of the most intriguing emission nebulae in the late summer sky, yet it is almost unknown to visual observers. Photographers, however, know it as a pair of opposing arcs of reddish light, one extending to the north, the other to the south, that appear to be spinning symmetrically away from a common center. Its unusual appearance has led to its two nicknames: the Propeller Nebula or the Garden Sprinkler Nebula.

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August 2019 Skies

Aug 07 2019 02:37 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers/Asteroid Surprises, Planet Plotting, August Moon Focus Constellations: Bootes, Corona Borealis, Ophiuchus, Hercules, Lyra, Aquila, Pegasus, Cygnus, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Camelopardalis, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major

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Cosmic Challenge: Planetary nebula IC 4732

Aug 01 2019 04:55 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

M22 is right in the thick of it, not far from the galactic center of the Milky Way. As such, it has lots of company. One particular planetary nebula proves a worthy adversary through 10- to 14-inch scopes: IC 4732. IC 4732 lies just 1.4° north-northwest of M22. Cataloged at magnitude 12.1, its tiny disk is difficult to pick out from the mob of field stars -- difficult, but not impossible.

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July 2019 Skies

Jul 05 2019 12:14 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Intergalactic Space, Planet Plotting, July Moon Focus Constellations: Coma Berenices, Virgo, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Ophiuchus, Hercules, Lyra, Aquila, Cygnus, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major

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