The Perseids, a rare eruption of nova RS Ophiuchi and a challenging dawn comet round out an amazing week of skywatching.
It couldn’t have happened at a better time. While we’re all gearing up for the peak of the Perseid meteors this New Moon week on August 12th, two more astronomical events have given us a reason to step outside on warm August nights: the eruption of recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi, and the brief appearance of comet C/2021 O1 Nishimura.
Continue reading “Skywatcher’s Delight: Nova RS Ophiuchi in Outburst and Comet O1 Nishimura”
A sure-fire summer shower, the Perseid meteors are set to put on a spectacular show this year.
It’s one of my fondest astronomical observing memories of childhood. Growing up in Northern Maine, it was a family tradition to set the lawn chairs out on warm mid-August nights, and watch with my mom and brother as the Perseid meteors slid silently through the inky black sky.
Continue reading “The Tears of the Hero: Get Ready for the 2021 Perseid Meteors”
Now’s the time to catch Nova Herculis 2021, before it fades from view.
…And then, there were two. Fresh off of the eruption of Nova Cassiopeiae 2021 early this year, another galactic nova made itself known earlier this past weekend, as a ‘new star’ or nova flirted with naked eye visibility in the constellation Hercules the Hero on its border with Aquila the Eagle.
Continue reading “Catch New Galactic Nova Herculis 2021 in Hercules the Hero”
The only annular eclipse of 2021 will produce a fine spectacle across most of North America and Europe.
Got those solar glasses handy from 2017? If skies are clear on the morning of Thursday June 10th, you may once again find good use for them, as an annular ‘ring-of-fire’ eclipse crosses northeastern Canada into the Arctic.
Continue reading “Solar Horns at Sunrise: Our Guide to the June 10th Annular Solar Eclipse”
The coming weeks are a great time to catch comet C/2020 R4 ATLAS… while you can.
Looking to do some springtime astronomy? With temperatures warming up in the northern hemisphere in April through May, galaxy season is upon us. At dusk, the area in the Bowl of Virgo asterism rising in the east is rife with clusters of galaxies that spill over into the adjacent constellations of Coma Berenices and Boötes…
But this May, keep an eye out for a fuzzball interloper that is not a galaxy: Comet C/2020 R4 ATLAS.
Continue reading “Catch Comet R4 ATLAS as it Nears Earth”
A ‘new star’ erupted into visibility over the past weekend, and continues to brighten.
It began, as all modern astronomical alerts seem to, with one tweet, then two. Early on the morning of Friday, March 19th, we started seeing word that a nova was spotted in the constellation of Cassiopeia the Queen, near its border with Cepheus. At the time, the nova was at magnitude +10 ‘with a bullet,’ and still brightening. A formal notice came that same night from the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) with Alert Notice 735 on the discovery of the first nova in Cassiopeia for 2021, Nova Cassiopeiae 2021, or N Cas 2021.
Continue reading “New Binocular Nova Cas 2021 Flares in Cassiopeia”