Category Archives: Observing

Quadrantid Meteor Shower

Hey if you can and the skies are good check out the Quadrantid meteor shower.

Look towards the Northeast and you should be able to see some activity. The Moon will probably obscure the shower by a large degree, so try early.

Moon Phases in 2018

A very interesting look at what the the moon phases in 2018 will look like in the northern hemisphere.

MORE IMPORTANTLY!!!! I want EVERYONE to be around to see every one of these moon phases. So, enjoy the celebrations to ring in the new year but PLEASE be safe out there!

December Solstice

The day of the December solstice is here.   The point where the Sun appears to have reached its southern extent and about to begin the six-month journey back north occurs (or occurred) today, 21 December 2017 at 16:28 UTC / 11:28 EST.

Just for fun  I think I will still go out at the solstice time with a stick and see where the shadow falls.  I always think of doing this to see what I have for landscaping options for creating my own little celestial observatory.

The Earth is not at perihelion on the December solstice; perihelion being that point in our orbit where we are closest to the Sun.  Perihelion occurs on 03 January 2018 at 05:35 UTC / 01:35 EST.  The day and time varies from year to year and this also is the case in the June Solstice /Aphelion timing.

Thanks to timeanddate.com for the graphic – it getting to be a tradition.

Welcome Home Expedition 53 Crew

I was not going to put up a video today since there have been quite a few this week but this one of the Expedition 53 crew’s  ( Sergey Ryazanskiy, Randy Bresnik and Paolo Nespoli ) return to Earth is just too good not to:

The parachute changing shape is really quite interesting.

Hopefully you got a chance to go out and have a look at the Geminid meteor shower or at least got to peek at the Live cam being broadcast from NASA in Huntsville Alabama. The linked video will be up as long as the feed continues.

I did get a chance to watch for a while. I braved the -15 C cold for about 45 minutes and returned into the warm house, it was then I discovered I could watch through a sliding glass door as long as the lights were out, once my eyes adjusted it was fun. The meteor shower will gradually taper off so I would expect to see a few meteors for at least the next few nights.

One of the things I seemed to notice was there would be something of a pause in the activity and all at once you would get five or six meteors in couple of minutes.

Here Come the Supermoons

This year a  trio of supermoons includes one that is a blue moon – a Super Blue Moon.  The first supermoon is in just a couple of days on 03 December 2017.

Here’s Science@NASA’s video “ScienceCasts: A Supermoon Trilogy”:

November Skies

Are typically very cloudy here, actually it is the cloudiest month of the year.  When the sky is clear it tends to be very clear, so what can we see in November? Here are two videos, take you pick.

The first is from JPL:

And the second is from Hubble:

Oh and if anyone is wondering, the power and internet both seem to be back finally.

September Skies

September is a great month for viewing the night skies.  Comfortable temperatures and clear nights make prime conditions especially for telescope users.

What’s Up for September. September already, where did the summer go? The temperature outside right now is 2 C already! No, that’s not unusual at all, it just seems so sudden somehow.