Ready for the first solar eclipse of the year? This weekend sees one of the top draw astronomical events for 2020, with a ‘ring of fire’ annular solar eclipse spanning eastern Africa and southern Asia on Sunday, June 21st.Continue reading “Catch a Solstice ‘Ring of Fire’ Annular Solar Eclipse Over Africa and Asia This Weekend”
Love solar eclipses? It’s the main question on everyone’s mind post-totality, once the all-too-brief darkness gives way back to light of day…
When’s the next total solar eclipse?
Anyone who has stood in the shadow of the Moon during totality knows the thrill of a total solar eclipse. Now, there’s great new atlas for planning your next great eclipse-chasing adventure. The Atlas of Solar Eclipses 2020 to 2045 by eclipse-chaser and cartographer Michael Zeiler and Michael E. Bakich is an indispensable astronomical resource.
This guide covers every solar eclipse out to 2045, starting with this weekend’s annular eclipse across southern Asia on June 21, 2020, all the way out to the total solar eclipse of August 12, 2045 crossing North America, the Caribbean and South America.Continue reading “Book Review: Atlas of Solar Eclipses 2020 to 2045”
So, you think you know Galileo? A new book out from Simon and Schuster publishing looks at the exploits of one of the most famous astronomers there ever was: Galileo Galilei. Galileo and the Science Deniers by Dr. Mario Livio not only looks at the life and times of the famous astronomer, but busts some of the most famous myths surrounding Galileo, and looks at his greatest discoveries and tempestuous clash with the Roman Catholic Church and its aftermath. Livio also connects the science denialism of the day with comparisons to modern clashes between politics and science.Continue reading “Review: Galileo and the Science Deniers by Mario Livio”
Stellina may usher in a revolution in amateur astronomy.
It’s a common scene at star parties, post-Christmas. As darkness falls, someone approaches us with a new telescope, often in still unassembled. “I can’t figure this thing out,” is the inevitable refrain. “Can you show me how to use this @#$%! thing?”Continue reading “Our Review of Stellina: a ‘Smart Telescope’ for 21st Century Astronomy”
A fascinating asteroid named 1998 OR2 pays our neck of the inner solar system a visit early Wednesday morning, and if skies are clear, you might just get a chance to watch it slide by.Continue reading “Watch Asteroid 1998 OR2 Zip Past Earth This Week”
Stuck at home with clear skies? We’re all in a similar situation, as the ongoing pandemic sees most of the worldwide amateur astronomy community observing from home or from their backyard. One astronomical sure-fire event coming up this week requires no special equipment, just a set of working ‘Mk-1 eyeballs’ and a clear sky: the April Lyrids.Continue reading “Catching the Peak of the 2020 April Lyrids”
When it comes to comets, the only thing that is certain is the orbital path. Though the cosmos has yet to send us a really bright comet for 2020 to keep us occupied during the ongoing worldwide pandemic and lock down, it has sent us a steady stream of descent binocular comets, including C/2017 T2 PanSTARRS, C/2019 Y1 ATLAS, and C/2019 Y4 ATLAS. And though Y4 ATLAS won’t match the “Comet of the Century” media hype, another interesting binocular comet has just made its presence known over the past weekend: C/2020 F8 SWAN.Continue reading “Comet Y4 ATLAS Breaks Up…Enter Comet F8 SWAN”
Got clear skies? If you’re like us, you’ve been putting the recent pandemic-induced exile to productive use, and got out under the nighttime sky. And though 2020 has yet to offer up a good bright ‘Comet of the Century’ to keep us entertained, there have been a steady stream of good binocular comets for northern hemisphere viewers, including C/2017 T2 PanSTARRS and C/2019 Y4 ATLAS. This week, I’d like to turn your attention to another good binocular comet that is currently at its peak: the ‘other’ comet ATLAS, C/2019 Y1 ATLAS.Continue reading “Following Comet Y1 ATLAS: the ‘Lost Comet’ of Spring”
Are you hanging out at home this week, and looking to observe some naked eye planets? As we mentioned last week, while Venus is shining bright in the dusk sky, all of the other four naked eye planets of Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury are skulking in the early dawn.Continue reading “Dawn Patrol: Following this Month’s ‘March of the Planets’”
Where have all the planets gone in early 2020? While most of the naked eye planets are hiding in the early dawn sky, one world dominates the evening: brilliant Venus.Continue reading “Following the Inner Worlds: Mercury and Venus in 2020”