By Francine Jackson
One of the biggest moments for a new astronomy lover is the sudden realization that we have suddenly connected the stars and found the constellations, as has happened for generations all around the world. And, then, to try to remember the figure, we often depend on a story, or a myth, to keep the stars in their proper position. Very often, we depend on the ancient European, notably the Greco-Roman stories, to keep the sky in line.
: By Glenn ChapleThe winter night sky, dominated by mighty Orion, is rich with deep-sky splendors. If you can brave the cold, you’ll be rewarded by some of the finest double and triple stars the night sky has to offer.
: By Glenn ChapleIt’s appropriate that the constellation Gemini, the Twins, should be home to a numerous collection of double stars. Here are ten stellar – pardon the pun - examples (data from the Washington Double Star Catalog (WDS).
: By Glenn ChapleFor our spring double star selection, we’ll say goodbye to Gemini and shift eastward to the faint constellation Cancer. Notable for its bright Messier cluster M44 (the Praesepe), Cancer is also home to a splendid array of double and multiple stars. How many can you notch? (Data from the Washington Double Star Catalog (WDS)
: By Glenn ChapleI’m a big fan of “off-the-beaten-path” sky objects. One of my favorites is the little-known double star Struve 817 - the 817th double star catalogued by the German-born Russian astronomer F. G. W. Struve during a survey conducted between 1824 and 1827.
: By Dave HuestisJust as the summer sky has the Summer Triangle, the winter sky has its own special asterism, and this one is huge and includes a total of eight bright stars. It’s called the Winter Circle or Winter Hexagon. I’ll explain why you can get both shapes from the stars.
: By Glenn ChapleWhat is the most colorful double star in the night sky? Most amateur astronomers would vote for β Cygni (Albireo). Others might cite γ Andromedae (Almach), ι Cancri, ξ Bootis, or η Cassiopeiae. Sadly overlooked is a double star that might challenge them all – h 3945 in Canis Major. It is arguably the most colorful double star in the winter sky and, in fact, has been nick-named the “Winter Albireo.”
: By Glenn ChapleYou won’t need a finder chart to locate this month’s featured sky object. It’s the first magnitude star β Orionis, better known by its proper name Rigel. Seventh brightest star in the night sky, Rigel dazzles us with a diamond-white color; especially striking when compared with Orion’s other first-magnitude star, the ruddy-hued Betelgeuse.
: By Dave HuestisEveryone with an interest in astronomy probably has a favorite constellation. It may be because of the star pattern’s mythology, or its shape in the sky, or for the beautiful objects that reside within its boundaries, or possibly because it’s your astrological sign.
: By Francine JacksonOne of the biggest moments for a new astronomy lover is the sudden realization that we have suddenly connected the stars and found the constellations, as has happened for generations all around the world. And, then, to try to remember the figure, we often depend on a story, or a myth, to keep the stars in their proper position. Very often, we depend on the ancient European, notably the Greco-Roman stories, to keep the sky in line.
: By Glenn ChapleOn the evening of March 1, 1918, a young Ohio farm boy trained a small refracting telescope towards the variable star R Leonis. He estimated its brightness, later forwarding the information to the American Association of Variable Star Observers. It was the first of over 132.000 variable star observations the legendary Leslie Peltier would submit to the AAVSO.
: By Glenn ChapleI’m a double star aficionado; my sky gazing motto is “double stars are twice the fun!” Unlike the “faint fuzzies” most backyard astronomers prefer, double stars aren’t hidden by light pollution or bright moonlight. They aren’t the exclusive property of big-scope owners. In fact, many showpiece doubles are within reach of small-aperture instruments. The common 60mm refractor with its crisp stellar images delivers exquisite views of double stars - especially twin systems.
: By Glenn ChapleWhat could be a more appropriate telescopic destination for a wintry night in January than the “Blue Snowball?” More formally known as NGC 7662, the Blue Snowball is a beautiful planetary nebula located in Andromeda. Discovered by William Herschel in 1784, it sports as the nickname implies a circular form and eye-pleasing bluish hue.
: By Glenn ChapleIt’s understandable that M78 should be overlooked by backyard astronomers. Not far away is the much brighter, much more easily found, and much, much more spectacular M42 - the Orion Nebula. This deep-sky masterpiece was spectacular even through the eyepiece of my 3-inch scope. M78, on the other hand, was a faint blob that seemed to sport an off-center nucleus.
Eyes on the Sky makes it easier for anyone to find objects in the night sky and/or learn how to use astronomy equipment, and educates about smarter lighting practices. Take a look at the weekly videos to learn what YOU can find in the night sky, this week - naked eye, binocular and telescopic objects are always discussed, so anyone can look up and see planets, stars and other deep sky objects.
Most backyard astronomers are so entranced by the Great Hercules Cluster M13 that they fail to notice a small, faint oval patch of light a half degree to the northeast. This is the 11th magnitude galaxy NGC 6207.
The name of this Society shall be “Skyscrapers, Inc. (Amateur Astronomical Society of Rhode Island).” The object of this Society shall be to educate the general public and membership on matters pertaining to astronomy. It shall be an educational, nonprofit organization. This Society is incorporated as a non-business corporation under the laws of the State of Rhode Island.