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.
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!
With star party season now in full swing many observers are in search of galaxies, nebula and perhaps a comet of their own. But don’t forget to take a look at Comet Petriew this August as it peaks in brightness around mid-month marking the 2nd anniversary of it's discovery. Recently we caught up with Vance at his observatory: Vance Petriew Interview (YouTube video).
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.