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The Sky This Month - July 2010

Ophiuchus, One Of The Originals

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The Sky This Month - March 2010

The Illusive Crab

If I were to hand the average person a star chart of the constellation Cancer the Crab and asked them to find it in the sky, I am sure they would be hard pressed in identifying it. Unlike bright celestial patterns such as Orion, the Big Dipper and so on, Cancer is not the easiest to recognize. However, to the seasoned astronomer who knows the sky like the back of their hand, Cancer is flanked with the Gemini Twins to its west and Leo (Major) the Lion to its east. Both of these bordering constellations possess bright suns.

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The Sky This Month - October 2010

Giddy Up Pegasus


Other than the familiar circle, a square is one of the easiest shapes to recognize. After all, it consists of four equal-length sides with its corner measuring perfect 90-degree angles. If I were to ask you to point out a nonagon in the night sky, not knowing it is a nine-sided polygon with 140 degrees inside angles, you would never find it. However, you would have better luck with the common square.

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The Sky This Month - January 2010

Star Renewal

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The Sky This Month - January 2011

Taurus The Bull


 


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The Sky This Month - February 2011

A Dozen Bright Dots

There is something about cold winter nights that make the stars shine a bit brighter than usual. Could it be the lack of haze – the kind we experience on sultry July and August nights? Or could it be the fact we can only last for a short period in the extreme cold? These are all valid reasons but the fact of the matter is Orion the Hunter and its neighbouring constellations represent a dozen of the brightest stars in the winter sky.

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The Sky This Month - April 2011

The Serpent Rises


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The Sky This Month - May 2011

A Smorgasbord Of Galaxies


The sky above offers many types of objects to hunt and enjoy. We scan the night either visually, using star charts and then star hop with telescopes. Keen eyesight is a must for a successful hit. One can always click on a control pad of a computerized telescope that magically moves to the object’s programmed coordinates. No matter what mode you choose to seek out these sometimes hard to find objects, your labours will not be in vain. The celestial menu includes diffuse, emission or planetary nebulae, star clusters or even colourful double and multiple star systems. However, these objects, for the most part, belong to our Milky Way Galaxy and pretty well in the ‘stellar neighbourhood’.

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The Sky This Month - June 2011

Puff The Draco Dragon


The beauty of circumpolar constellations is that they never set below the horizon. From forty-five degrees north latitude, we can enjoy such familiar patterns as Ursae Majoris (Big Dipper), Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Camelopardalis, Draco and of course Ursae Minoris (Little Dipper) which sports the North Star. For the rest of the constellations, that depends on how high or low in declination they reside. This month, we will take a look at the Draco the Dragon.


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The Sky This Month - July 2011

Ophiuchus – The Mystery Constellation

The world of astrology and those who follow its daily predictions were dealt a crushing blow in the second week of 2011. Overnight, the dates of the signs were revamped and a mysterious thirteenth house was added. People woke up to find out they were no longer who they thought they were. For instance, if someone went to bed a Capricorn, they woke up as a Sagittarius, etc. Personally, it was about time these dates changed because of the 26,000-year wobble called precession. The Sun now appears in the constellation to the left from where your sign used to be. As for this mysterious pattern thrown into the mix – there is no mystery.

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