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Northern Skies

The Sky This Month - December 2012

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Gary Boyle
Post Date: 
Mon, 2012/12/03

Long Cold Nights

 

Here we are – the last month of 2012. If you do not have a blanket of snow on the ground where you live, it is only a matter of time till it arrives. But before that happens, let’s do some late autumn observing. Cetus the Whale is the fourth largest constellation in night sky. Within its 1,231 square degrees lie more than 50 NGC objects down to magnitude 12.0 with that number tripling when you go down to 13th magnitude.

 

Sirius B Observing Challenge site launched!

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RASC Sirius B Project
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Mon, 2012/11/12

As you prepare to brave the cold, clear nights of fall and winter observing, why not consider measuring yourself against an artful and subtle observing quarry, Sirius B?

The RASC Sirius B Project Team is pleased to announce the launch of the Sirius B Observing Challenge website, which contains everything you need to pit yourself against this tough celestial entity. Venture where all too few observers have gone before!

The Sky This Month - November 2012

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Tue, 2012/11/06

The Big “W”

In astronomical and mythological terms, the Queen of the night belongs to Cassiopeia. Locating the Queen is as simple as looking up on these cool November nights and finding the five suns that form the distinctive letter ‘W’. These stars range in brightness from magnitude 2.5 to 3.4 and are circumpolar, meaning the constellation can be found all year round from our location as it circles some thirty degrees from the North Star – Polaris. Cassiopeia is ranked twenty-fifth in area.

The Sky This Month - October 2012

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Gary Boyle
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Tue, 2012/10/02

Brightest Comet in Human History?

 

The Sky This Month - September 2012

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Gary Boyle
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Mon, 2012/09/03

The Water Bearer

 

The Sky This Month - August 2012

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Gary Boyle
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Wed, 2012/08/01

Draco The Dragon

 

Sky This Month - July 2012

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Gary Boyle
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Sun, 2012/07/01

I was recently listening to some vintage country music by Glen Campbell. He was singing “Southern Nights” which is one of my favourites. This song was a big hit for him in March 1977 as the it held the number 1 position in Billboard magazine for two straight weeks. Midway through the song we hear the lyrics “Southern Skies, have you ever noticed Southern Skies. Its precious beauty, lies just beyond the eye …..” and this is so true. As we venture outdoors on these warm July nights, we cast our eyes and telescopes south to the center of our home galaxy called the Milky Way.

The Sky This Month - June 2012

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Gary Boyle
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Fri, 2012/06/01

The Great 2012 Venus Transit

Well that magical moment is almost upon us. The anticipation of witnessing the planet Venus crossing the face of the Sun has been the buzz in the astronomical community for the past few months. It was eight short years ago on the morning of June 8, 2004 that the Sun rose in the north east, sporting a huge black spot. From Ottawa, the transit was past the halfway point with Venus ready to exit an hour later.

The Sky This Month - May 2012

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Gary Boyle
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Tue, 2012/05/01

More Galaxies and A Daytime Planet

 

The Sky This Month - April 2012

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Gary Boyle
Post Date: 
Sun, 2012/04/01

 

Teaching Tools In The Sky

It is comforting to know that some people other than backyard astronomers still take the time to look up on a clear night and ponder many questions. After all, the twinkling sky was nightly entertainment for many early civilizations. But even at this stage of technology where satellite TV with its bazillion channels, smart phones, iPads and the internet, observing those distant points of lights high above is not a thing of the past.

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