Archive | December, 2014

Lovejoy in Lepus

December 31, 2014

0 Comments

In my December 23rd blog, I mentioned that Comet Lovejoy would soon become visible to mid-northern observers, including this writer (I live near Vancouver, British Columbia). I was hoping to make my initial sighting on the evening of December 28th when Lovejoy drifted near the globular star cluster M79 in southern Lepus. Weather permitting, of course!

Continue reading...

Comet Time is Here Again

December 29, 2014

1 Comment

Few things excite backyard astronomers more than hearing about a new comet. At the moment, Comet Lovejoy (also designated C/2014 Q2) is making its way north and generating a fair bit of interest. But when it comes to comets, low expectations are the key to happiness. In my observing life, I’ve witnessed more than my share of duds, but I’ve also been lucky enough to see a few spectacles too.

Continue reading...

Looking for Lovejoy

December 23, 2014

1 Comment

I’m a long-time comet buff, so I’m looking forward to Comet Lovejoy. The inbound interloper will enter my low southern sky (I live near the 49th parallel) in late December.

Continue reading...

The Geminid Report

December 18, 2014

0 Comments

In a recent post (Splendid Geminids, December, 2nd, 2014), I declared from personal experience that the powerful Geminid meteor shower can be appreciated from city suburbs. I promised that on December 13th I’d be watching from my yard in Chilliwack, British Columbia – weather permitting, of course.

Continue reading...

Star Wheel Magic

December 16, 2014

0 Comments

A planisphere is simply a rotating star map housed inside a sleeve with several windows for showing the date and the appearance of the night sky. They come in different sizes and styles, but they all do the same thing the same way.

Continue reading...

Tips For Buying Used Binoculars

December 11, 2014

0 Comments

I’m a real thrift-store junkie. I can’t resist a good deal on something useful — and for me, few things are more useful than a nice pair of stargazing binoculars. I’ve purchased a number of excellent binos at bargain prices, but I’ll be the first to tell you it’s easy to get burned if you’re not careful. So, here are a few tips to help you sort the good from the bad and the ugly.

Continue reading...

Winter Moon, Summer Sun

December 5, 2014

0 Comments

One of the most enjoyable aspects of backyard astronomy is that you can participate in the hobby with no equipment at all.

Continue reading...

Splendid Geminids

December 2, 2014

2 Comments

As I write this in early December, 2014, there is one major celestial event left on the calendar: the Geminid meteor shower on the 13th. The “shooting stars” that radiate from the constellation Gemini often produce the year’s most powerful meteor display – if only we could witness it. After all, there aren’t many cloud-free nights in December.

Continue reading...