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.
It is great to see our parent star - the Sun making the news once again. It started with an active region labeled sunspot 1402 and the M-9 solar flare that blasted off the sun’s surface on January 22nd at 10:59 p.m. EST. From that point on, the explosion and expected grand aurora displays was talk on TV, radio and water coolers around the world. An astronomical event like this is a good catalyst on motivating people to learn more about the night sky.
Weather permitting, astronomers from different parts around the world will be broadcasting the moon, Jupiter and other celestial objects from their observatories over the internet. The WorldWide Star party 2008 will take place on Saturday September 6, 2008. I am scheduled to start broadcasting at 8 p.m. eastern time. Other time zones include a few stations across the USA as well as Australia to name a few. Looks like Sweden will be clouded out. In fact a few of the stations might suffer the same cloudy fate. Come join us in this unique event at:
Ajai Sehgal, Robert Gagliano and Tim Puckett, report the discovery of an apparent supernova (mag 17.8) (limiting mag 19.5) on CCD images taken with a 0.50-m reflector, Osoyoos , BC. On Apr. 28.36 UT. in the course of the Puckett Observatory Supernova Search. The new object was confirmed at mag 17.8 (limiting mag 19.3) by Puckett on Apr. 29.08, Ellijay, GA. 0.60-m reflector. The object is located at R.A. = 12h41m01s.55, Decl. = +63°31'11".6 (equinox 2000.0), which is 28".36 east and 0".6 south of UGC 7848. Nothing is visible at this location on images taken by Principal Investigator Tim Puckett on Apr. 5 (limiting mag 19.5).
It's two o'clock in the morning. I'm observing under clear skies and my throat is sore. But not because of the cold! No, I'm sitting at my desk at home in London, Ontario, with a mug of hot chocolate. The telescope I'm using is southeast of Tucson, Arizona, at the Jarnac Observatory. The reason my throat is sore is that I've just spent 133min on the phone with RASC member David H. Levy (Honorary President of both Montreal Centre and Kingston Centre; 1980 Chant Medal winner), learning about David's web-based interface for remote observing.
In mythology times, the winged horse Pegasus carried its master Perseus and rescued Andromeda to safety after Perseus saved her from the sea monster Cetus. This is a classic tale of heroism in the night sky. But for backyard astronomers and stargazers, The Great Square of Pegasus spells fall observing. This giant baseball diamond in the sky is quite easy to locate. With the splendid Milky Way perched straight up after sunset, the winged beast ascents in the east.