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Northern Skies

The Sky This Month - September 2014

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Mon, 2014/09/01

The Summer Triangle – part 2

We now continue our tour of the famous summer triangle. Half way between the Double-Double and Deneb is a dense magnitude 9.5 open cluster identified as NGC 6819. Pretty well any telescope will reveal about 30 stars but larger instruments are required to pick up the many fainter suns. NGC 6819 is located some 7,200 light years and thought to be around 2.3 billion years old.

The Sky This Month - August 2014

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Fri, 2014/08/01

The Summer Triangle – part 1

The night sky is a collection of patterns known as asterisms which, when connecting the dot (stars) takes on the shape of objects, people, and animals. The larger boundaries of each asterism make up the individual constellations. The summer triangle is the connection of three bright stars from three completely different asterisms. To the far left we have the star named Deneb or the tail of Cygnus the Swan.

The Sky This Month - July 2014

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Tue, 2014/07/01

The Mighty Hercules

The Sky This Month - June 2014

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Sun, 2014/06/01

Libra the scales

The Sky This Month - May 2014

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Thu, 2014/05/01

Planning An Observing Session Plus A Surprise Shower !!!


Observing the night sky comes in two flavours. The first is the spur of the moment feeling of grabbing binoculars or a small scope as we fly out the door. Here we spend about 20 minutes looking at our favourite Messier or NGC objects as well as the moon or planets thus satisfying our need to observe photons. The other more involved task is planning a lengthily observing session either in the backyard or an out of town expedition. Lunar and planetary observing and photography do not need dark country skies.

The Sky This Month - April 2014

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Tue, 2014/04/01

Red Planet, Red Moon

The mighty lion makes itself visible as it climbs the sky on these April nights. The outline of the familiar beast is quite recognizable as related to the Big Dipper. The Dipper stars form a pot with a handle and if you were to drill a hole in the celestial pot, water would pour onto the back of Leo. The Lion’s front half is portrayed by a sickle or backwards question mark starting from the bright star Regulus. This star is about five times the size of our sun and about 160 times brighter.

The Sky This Month - March 2014

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Sat, 2014/03/01

Hydra The Water Serpent

The Sky This Month - March 2014

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Sat, 2014/03/01

Hydra The Water Serpent

The Sky This Month - February 2014

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Sat, 2014/02/01

The Winter Milky Way Part 2

The Sky This Month - January 2014

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Wed, 2014/01/01

The Winter Milky Way - Part 1


When someone utters the words Milky Way, we immediately associate the grand veil seen overhead during warm, mosquito ridden summer nights. At that time of year it is quite easy to trace out the collective glow of millions of suns stretching from the famous W of Cassiopeia the Queen in the north to Sagittarius the Archer in the south. To experience this marvellous sight under dark country skies is beyond words. Resting above the southern horizon is the nucleus or heart of our home galaxy.

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