Astronomy

Stargazing Adventure

Stargazing Adventure

Beehive Cluster, M44. Photo © CC-SA-4.0. It was a cold, clear 32° F (0° C) Sunday night as my dad and I left our cozy house, bundled in warm winter clothes. Shivering, we walked out to our...

Aquarius

Aquarius

Helix Nebula, NGC 7293. Photo © Dreamstime.com. Aquarius is a sprawling constellation that stretches across nearly 40° of the southern sky on autumn evenings. This constellation lies south of the...

Aquila

Aquila

Barnard's E. Photo © CC by SA-3.0 Aquila, the Eagle, is a mid-sized constellation that lies right along the summer Milky Way.The brightest star in Aquila is Altair. Two somewhat dimmer stars lie on...

Black Hole Photography

Black Hole Photography

M87 is a huge galaxy over 50 million light years away with approximately one trillion stars, but these facts are not the most interesting part about the galaxy. A photo taken through the 10”...

In Our Skies

In Our Skies

About once a year, Earth passes between the Sun and Neptune. This event is called an opposition because Neptune is on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, rising around sunset and setting around...

Lyra

Lyra

Ring Nebula. Photo © NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScl/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Lyra, the Harp, is a small constellation that lies almost straight overhead on August evenings in the...

Dusty, Milky—Beautiful

Dusty, Milky—Beautiful

Milky Way over Matterhorn. Photo © iStock. Our home galaxy is called the Milky Way because people have long had the idea that it looks like spilled milk drifting across the sky. It’s believed the...

In Our Skies, July 2022: Planets

In Our Skies, July 2022: Planets

Moon. Photo © Shaphan Shank. This month, nearly all the bright planets are strung across the early morning sky. Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are all easy to find, thanks to their brilliance....

Of Bolides and Birds

Of Bolides and Birds

Bolide with Tau Herculid meteor shower and fireflies. Photo © Cheryl Shank. I didn’t know birds talk in their sleep, but they surely must. About 12:30 a.m. an Ovenbird began to talk. Before long, a...

Ophichus

Ophichus

M12. Photo © Scott Rosen. Ophiuchus is a large constellation that lies high in the southern sky on midsummer evenings. This constellation lies just north of the constellation Scorpius and just west...