A Late Night Out

June 7/8, 2018: Those Summer Nights Summer is not a favorable season for amateur astronomy. The nights are short, dew sneaks up on you and the insects are annoying. On this night, the skies were clear, the dew point was reasonable and the insects were not biting, at least not that bad. With the moon […]

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Exploring the Summer Sky

The summer months can be a tricky time for observing. The nights are short, the weather is erratic and dew starts to build up on the telescope as soon as the serious observing begins. Nights that are clear, calm and cool are rare to come by and should be taken advantage of. I did just that on the night of […]

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Exploring the Early Spring Sky

Returning to Deep-sky objects Even though Roanoke County has a decent amount of light pollution, probably a 4 or 5 on the Bortle Scale, there are still a great deal of Galaxies, Star Clusters and Nebula visible in the night sky. These DSOs (Deep-sky objects), provide challenging yet rewarding targets for most amateur astronomers. With the assistance of Skysafari 4’s “Tonight’s […]

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Comet in the Sky with Diamonds

Thanks to the October edition of Sky and Telescope and the good people over at Cloudy Nights, Comet 103P/Hartley 2 had been on my radar screen for sometime.  Weather permitting, a view of it on October 9th looked to provide a rare conjunction of itself and the famous double cluster in Perseus. Thankfully, that is exactly […]

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The Good Ole Southern Sky

You would think that after a few months of putting the telescope in the same place every night, I would have thought to move it to reveal a different part of the sky.  Trees generally block my view of the far South, but tonight I switched things up and moved the telescope next to my […]

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