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June 2019 Skies

Jun 05 2019 03:21 PM | cookman in This Month

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

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Cosmic Challenge: Apollo Landing Sites

May 31 2019 11:46 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Between July 1969 and December 1972, six teams of United States astronauts ventured across the gap between Earth and Moon to land and walk on that distant world. Have you ever visited their landing sites? If not, let's do so now.

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May 2019 Skies

May 05 2019 01:27 PM | cookman in This Month

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

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Cosmic Challenge: M51's spiral arms

Apr 30 2019 07:52 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Of the thousands of spiral galaxies visible through backyard telescopes, one stands above the rest in terms of visual interest: M51, the famous Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici. Everything adds up in M51's favor. We are seeing it very nearly face-on, its spiral arm halo is bright and peppered with star clouds and vast regions of nebulosity, and it brings with it a friend in the form of a smaller companion galaxy that can even be seen through giant binoculars.

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April 2019 Skies

Apr 06 2019 02:34 PM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, Spring Skies, April Moon Focus Constellations: Auriga, Taurus, Gemini. Cancer, Leo, Leo Minor, Coma Berenices, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx

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Cosmic Challenge: Leo III

Mar 30 2019 09:54 AM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

A springtime rite of passage started here two years ago. It started in the April 2017 edition of this e-column, when I challenged readers to find the dwarf galaxy Leo I. Leo I is one of many dim dwarf galaxies gravitationally bound to the Milky Way. The fact that its surface brightness rates only 15th magnitude, coupled with its position just 20' north of Regulus makes Leo I a tough challenge to land.

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Cosmic Challenge: NGC 2363 and NGC 2366

Feb 28 2019 04:59 PM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

Will the real NGC 2363 please stand up? For years, there has been an ongoing debate over the true identity of the 2,363rd entry in the New General Catalog.

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February 2019 Skies

Feb 04 2019 08:22 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Mars Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, Who let the Groundhog out?, February Moon Focus Constellations: Perseus, Auriga, Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini. Cancer, Leo, Leo Minor, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis, Lynx

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Cosmic Challenge: Sharpless 2-301

Feb 01 2019 02:39 PM | PhilH in Phil Harrington's Cosmic Challenge

While a few of Sharpless's entries, such as Sh2-25 (better known as M8, the Lagoon Nebula) and Sh2-49 (M16, the Eagle Nebula), are well known to visual observers, most are among of the most challenging objects to see visually. If you have never made a concerted effort to see some of the lesser known Sharpless objects, then this challenge, Sh2-301 in Canis Major, is a good introduction to the sport.

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January 2019 Skies

Jan 08 2019 11:58 AM | cookman in This Month

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, Sunrise and Sunset, January Moon Focus Constellations: Pegasus, Pisces, Aries, Triangulum, Andromeda, Perseus, Auriga, Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini. Camelopardalis, Lynx, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia

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