Northern Skies

The Sky This Month - January 2021

Orion’s Many Colours - part 1

As the bright stars of the winter sky rise in the east, we witness a great mythological battle that has been raging for thousands of years. With his mighty shield and raised club, Orion the Hunter has been locked in this imaginary confrontation with Taurus the Bull. The constellation Orion is one of the most iconic groupings of distant suns.

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The Sky This Month - December 2020

The Great Conjunction

Looking back on 2020, the entire world has been and is still suffering high levels of stress and anxiety from this pandemic. Normal life came to a screaming halt as we had to find different ways to entertain ourselves such as reading, doing crafts and binge-watching TV for hours on end while others learned something new. As did early civilizations millennia ago, people have started looking at the night sky as an escape. There are news reports that telescope sales are way up showing interest in astronomy is mounting.

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The Sky This Month - September 2020

Rising Pegasus,

The Great Square of Pegasus depicting the mythological winged horse is now high in the eastern sky. Pegasus is one of the original 48 constellations listed by Ptolomy sometime after 150 BC and was part of the story of the “Royal Family of Constellations”. The story depicts King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia sacrificing their daughter Andromeda to the sea creature Cetus to appease the angry gods. Our hero Perseus the Hunter saves Andromeda and they both ride off on Pegasus.

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The Sky This Month - September 2020

Rising Pegasus

The Great Square of Pegasus depicting the mythological winged horse is now high in the eastern sky. Pegasus is one of the original 48 constellations listed by Ptolomy sometime after 150 BC and was part of the story of the “Royal Family of Constellations”. The story depicts King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia sacrificing their daughter Andromeda to the sea creature Cetus to appease the angry gods. Our hero Perseus the Hunter saves Andromeda and they both ride off on Pegasus.

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The Sky This Month - August 2020

NEOWISE – The Little Comet That Did

Not since the memorable appearances of Comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997 has the world had the opportunity to see and photograph a fantastic naked-eye comet. Discovered on March 27, 2020, Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE rounded the sun on July 3 at a close approach of 43 million kilometres and survived. Two other comets namely Atlas and Swan fizzled out a few months prior and so did our opportunity to see these celestial visitors.

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The Sky This Month - July 2020

Comet NEOWISE

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The Sky This Month - June 2020

Bootes

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The Sky This Month - May 2020

A Virtual Astronomy Day

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The Sky This Month - April 2020

Stargazing, A Way To De-stress

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The Sky This Month - March 2020

The Ultimate Challenge

Standing under a dark country sky on a moonless night, our eyes drink in a couple of thousand stars as well as visible planets. This alone is a wonder but once we use the magnification of a telescope, fainter objects now reveal their subtle detail. Amateur astronomers not only use their telescopes to magnify what the unaided eye sees but hunt down the elusive galaxies, star clusters and nebulae.

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