By Dave Fuller on 6/27/2012 10:01 AM

Tonight (and into tomorrow morning) there will be three trios in the sky: Mercury is near Castor and Pollux in the evening, Jupiter and Venus are close to Aldebaran in the morning, and tonight, the Moon visits Spica and Saturn.  Look in the southwest about and hour or two after sunset, and don't miss Mars towards the west southwest too.

By Dave Fuller on 6/25/2012 5:01 PM

Mercury is near the "twin" stars of Castor and Pollux of Gemini about an hour after sunset.  Visible for longer, but moving towards the west-northwest, is the Moon and Mars, with Regulus of Leo sitting between the duo and trio.  For more information, see the June 25 thru July 1 "Eyes on the Sky" video.

By Dave Fuller on 6/24/2012 3:42 PM
I had made a video about how to find Pluto, and why this time was a good opportunity to try and spot the little pla... uhhh - dwarf planet.  Two weeks ago some of my friends who are part of the informal Chicago Astronomer group indicated this last weekend might be a good time to try it.  I put it on my calendar, and was not disappointed!

We met at Conway Observatory in Lowell Indiana.  The skies are between 5.5 and 6.0 magnitude, NELM - well, overhead and to the south that is.  To the north, the glow of the city and urban sprawl still block stars down to 3.5 or 4.0 about 40 degrees and below.  But we weren't looking north.  I had researched how high Pluto would be above the horizon: It was to be 20 degrees by 10:45, 25 degrees by 11:45, and culminate on the meridian at 29 degrees around 12:45 or so. Being a glutton for punishment, I started trying around 10:30 or 11:00.  But, I had something going for me: VERY transparent...
By Dave Fuller on 6/6/2012 6:08 PM

The 2012 Venus Transit could not have gone better for me.  A once (or twice!) in a lifetime event that turned out perfectly - or as perfect as one can hope, anyway.  I had occasionally mentioned the Venus Transit in past weekly videos.  The full week before was my pièce de rèsistance for my "Eyes on the Sky" videos, as I made quite a few characters, most notably Guillaume Le Gentil.  But of course the real thing - the actual transit - was the reason for all of this hoopla.

The weekend had indicated clear weather for Tuesday evening, but I know better than to get too excited about clear weather conditions too far in advance.  But Tuesday arrived, the sky was blue, and the temperature was a comfortable 75F - though it was a bit windy.  I had first raised the idea for this event with a local park district back in November of 2011, which has a prime west-facing location outside of town - and they had been looking to get more people out to this spot anyway.  It turned out to be ideal (more on that later).  

Arriving at 4:00 or so with a ice-filled cooler stocked with Sunkist orange soda (could there be a better drink name for a Venus Transit?), I had plenty of time to ....

The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.