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The Sky This Month - March 2014

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Gary Boyle
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Sat, 2014/03/01

Hydra The Water Serpent

To the average person, the night sky is a collection of simple dots, some bright while others dim. In elementary school, the general science class touched on the very basics of astronomy. We had leaned the major constellations like the big Dipper, studied stars in general like our Sun as well as our four earthly seasons. Along to my science teachers and a book called Stars that really started my love for astronomy at the age of eight.

The Sky This Month - March 2014

Posted in
Written by Gary Boyle on
Author: 
Gary Boyle
Post Date: 
Sat, 2014/03/01

Hydra The Water Serpent

To the average person, the night sky is a collection of simple dots, some bright while others dim. In elementary school, the general science class touched on the very basics of astronomy. We had leaned the major constellations like the big Dipper, studied stars in general like our Sun as well as our four earthly seasons. Along to my science teachers and a book called Stars that really started my love for astronomy at the age of eight.

The Sky This Month - February 2014

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Gary Boyle
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Sat, 2014/02/01

The Winter Milky Way Part 2

Last month we ended our tour of the Winter Milky Way in Auriga with a trio of open clusters namely M38, M36 and M37. Travelling down from this point, we now cross the border and find ourselves in Gemini. The two prominent stars depicting the twins are Castor and Pollux with distances of 52 and 34 light years respectively. Using simple binoculars, move to the feet of Castor until a magnitude 5.5 open cluster jumps in your field of view.

The Sky This Month - January 2014

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Gary Boyle
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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.

The Sky This Month - December 2013

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Gary Boyle
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Sun, 2013/12/01

Comet ISON’S Last Gasp

The last few days of November saw a combination of excitement and disappointment. It all began with fourteen months of hype and anticipation of how Comet ISON might perform on the November 28 showdown between fire and ice. Its path would take the comet through the upper atmosphere of the Sun – a mere 1.3 million kilometres above the hellish surface. As the hours ticked off on that faithful morning, ISON was in the home stretch of its solar rendezvous and was brightening to a healthy magnitude -1.

The Sky This Month - November 2013 - Featuring Comet ISON

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Gary Boyle
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Thu, 2013/10/31

What has been the buzz in the astronomical community for the past year is now in the home stretch. Discovered on Sept 21, 2012, Comet ISON was first though to be a daytime comet with an estimated magnitude -16, when it rounds the Sun at a very close distance on Nov 28. But recent observations now paint a slightly different picture. All comets are a bit of a mystery and seems to have a mind of their own - ISON is no different.

The Sky This Month - October 2013

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Gary Boyle
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Tue, 2013/10/01

The Sea Goat

With shorter days we see the sun now set before 7 p.m. locally and those pesky mosquitoes are all but gone. When you add these factors, October is a great month to be outdoors and doing what we all love to do. We first start off with the sinking Milky Way in the south.

The Sky This Month - September 2013

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Gary Boyle
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Sun, 2013/09/01

Look High To The Eagle In The Sky

Where has the time gone? We are already into September. And it is this time of year we can start observing about 8:30 p.m. local time. As we begin our observing run, the famous Summer Triangle greets us high overhead. The three suns that make up this asterism are Vega in the constellation Lyra the Harp, Deneb in the Cygnus the Swan and Altair in Aquila the Eagle and is the starting point for this month’s article.

The Sky This Month - August 2013

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Gary Boyle
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Thu, 2013/08/01

Mysterious Ophiuchus

Whenever I host public viewing sessions with my telescope under a dark sky, the subject of horoscopes and astrology always comes up. For some reason most of the general public get astronomy and astrology mixed up. But I play along and ask “what was your sign”? As the person is about to give their answer, facial expressions are priceless as they blurted out, “what do you mean what WAS my sign”.

The Sky This Month - July 2013

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Gary Boyle
Post Date: 
Mon, 2013/07/01

Our Home Galaxy

Summer is the time of year to enjoy the great outdoors whether it’s camping, fishing or gazing at the starry sky on a clear night. Sitting outside in the dark and looking up has been the past time of humans for thousands of years. No matter if you are eight or eighty; something magical occurs when we simply stare at those tiny points of lights high above our heads. At times our eyes follow a slow moving satellite as it traverses the night sky until we lose it in the earth’s shadow.

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