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Archive category: Observing Plans

October 25, 2007

Say what! Startling "new" comet

UPDATE: 8:30 am Thursday - One forecast calls for some clearing tonight! And for a more complete account of Comet Holmes, see the Sky and Telescope article here. If it clears, Perseus - and the comet - will be visible...
Posted by Greg Stone at 04:59 AM
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October 05, 2007

Halloween Comet? Stay tuned!

Comets are largely unpredictable. Last January, one astronomers knew was getting near the Sun, Comet McNaught, suddenly brightened enough so it was visible here in twilight to the naked eye - that was much brighter than anyone had expected and...
Posted by Greg Stone at 09:05 AM
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August 05, 2007

Half an eclipse for early risers

OK - this one is for those viewing the total eclipse of the moon August 28 locally. Times and conditions are geared to Westport, MA - or very generally, the East Coast. There can be a big gap between total...
Posted by Greg Stone at 12:42 PM
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June 26, 2007

A symbiotic southern exposure, new gigs, and some sidewalk astronomy

I've spent a little time lately exploring nearby sites that would give me the good southern exposure I lack at Driftway Observatory. Yesterday I found one that's near perfect, ended up doing a little sidewalk astronomy in the process, and...
Posted by Greg Stone at 06:37 AM
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June 20, 2007

Time the moon, or moon it - chase those illusions away!

At the June meeting of the Prime Time program Michael Twomey gave a report on the complex and puzzling phenomena of the moon illusion where the moon appears so large in the sky near the horizon, yet we know it...
Posted by Greg Stone at 09:25 PM
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April 06, 2007

You gotta be kidding - observing for the blind?

Astronmical observing for the blind? Does that sound like a cruel joke to you? It did to me when I first heard it and before I gave it much thought. Yet a few weeks from now I hope to be...
Posted by Greg Stone at 10:50 AM
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February 18, 2007

Naked eye nova in Scorpius!

Picture a small, incredibly massive - and incredibly dense - star, a white dwarf, revolving around a larger star so closely that it's continuously sucking gas away from the companion star. In such a situation the white dwarf eventually becomes...
Posted by Greg Stone at 03:47 AM
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February 17, 2007

Turning to totality - March 3

AT 5:30 pm on March 3 ( a Saturday)- as the earth spins - an almost totally eclipsed moon will appear in the east, seven minutes before the sun vanishes below the western horizon. Will we be able to see...
Posted by Greg Stone at 12:51 PM
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June 05, 2006

Twilight plans and a report card

Up about 2:40 am – could see a star out my bedroom window. However, when I walked out on the deck it was 85 percent overcast. Went back in to work at computer. Looked out again about 3:15 – entirely...
Posted by Greg Stone at 07:23 AM
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May 24, 2006

Even the best laid plans sometimes go right ;-)

Shortly after 7 am yesterday I sent out a notice to the group planning to visit that night saying “this is going to be an iffy day - right now I expect it to be mostly clear this morning,...
Posted by Greg Stone at 03:23 PM
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March 06, 2006

A lesson in context and framing

Lesson for me, that is, so I can better represent the universe to 8-year-olds. If you were wondering – ok, I know you weren’t – that’s what I was doing at 4 am this morning either huddled in the observatory,...
Posted by Greg Stone at 04:24 PM
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January 28, 2006

Do you see what I see!

The Orion Nebula as only Hubble can see it - the image is another reality in itself. “The day you teach the child the name of the bird, the child will never see that bird again.” J. Krishnamurti One...
Posted by Greg Stone at 11:05 AM
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December 04, 2005

Rethinking and refining equipment choices

I’ve had enough experience with visitors at the observatory to now refine my equipment choices and develop a pattern for the sessions. First, I want to make sure each session at the Observatory involves some naked eye observing, some...
Posted by Greg Stone at 11:03 AM
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Triple, quadruple, and gang - but not in that order

Topics, this post: Pleiades Beta Monoceros Sigma Orionis 4.5-inch Orion Dob Stars tend to hang out together and observing stars that are close to one another offers some special opportunities to make comparisons. On the mornings of December 3 and...
Posted by Greg Stone at 10:23 AM
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November 26, 2005

Cold, cloudy, and confusing – but that’s OK ;-)

Double-star learning opportunity handout – to be read before observing session – and/or after.Download file Double-star field notes document with stars suitable for fall to early winter. Download file Well, I'm learning. I'm learning that my expectations for youth...
Posted by Greg Stone at 01:14 PM
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November 15, 2005

Calendar Nov 14-21 2005

11/14/05 Monday Date 5:15 pm Earliest Lunar and Planetary Observing time 5:45 pm Earliest Star and Deep Sky Object observing time 13 days waxing Age of the Moon Special notes: Mars remains close and presents a disc of about 18...
Posted by Greg Stone at 07:53 PM
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Recent Entries in Rapt in Awe
Say what! Startling "new" comet

Halloween Comet? Stay tuned!

Half an eclipse for early risers

A symbiotic southern exposure, new gigs, and some sidewalk astronomy

Time the moon, or moon it - chase those illusions away!

You gotta be kidding - observing for the blind?

Naked eye nova in Scorpius!

Turning to totality - March 3

Twilight plans and a report card

Even the best laid plans sometimes go right ;-)

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