Category Archives: Astronomy

Mercury

I was driving to the train station before dawn this morning.  Venus was blazing away as she has been doing for weeks now.  I chanced to look below her and to the east, and what do you know!  There was … Continue reading

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Day Trip to Venus

It’s possible to see Venus with the naked eye all day long, if you know exactly where to look and the bright planet isn’t too close to the sun. (DO NOT look close to the sun.  Your eyes are dazzled … Continue reading

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At Last, the Stars

It’s been so rainy and overcast! Early this morning, before 6, I stepped outside and saw the stars again.  I felt something akin to what Dante felt on emerging from Hell to behold the spangled heavens.  Well, that’s an exaggeration; … Continue reading

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Arcturus

The full moon just set, and this house’s long shadow faded into the darkness of woods and lingering snow. It is 6 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Venus is blazing at a white-hot magnitude -4.something.  I’m sorry I don’t have my telescope … Continue reading

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Halloween Part One

Why waste the early morning of Halloween? Last evening, the Milky Way was brighter than I’ve seen it in years.  (My all-time Milky Way sighting was over Tuxis Island in Madison, Connecticut back in the 1970s.  Light pollution has probably … Continue reading

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Spooky Time

I love October.  As far back as high school, I identified it as probably my favorite month of the year.  (I say “probably” because every month is a symphony in a different key.) This is the spooky time.  Sunlight is … Continue reading

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Ribs, Rain, Miracles

How I spent my summer vacation… 1. Happy Lammas Day!  Lammas, or Loaf-Mass, a festival of first fruits, isn’t in the church calendar anymore, but was held over and recontextualized from the Celtic festival of Lughnasa, marking the first day … Continue reading

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Mars After All

Last evening Slooh had a program on the Mars opposition–when the Sun, earth, and Mars were in syzygy  (a straight line, with earth in the middle).  Further, Mars was at perihelion and earth nearly at aphelion.  (Counterintuitively for Northern Hemisphere … Continue reading

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First Mars, Now Aquarius

So tomorrow is the total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition.  Two gorgeous red bodies in the sky at once.  Mind you, the northeastern United States won’t see the eclipse, but I’m hopeful thanks to Slooh, a community of stargazers … Continue reading

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Clouds!

Just as Mars approaches its historic perihelion,  what happens?  Days and days of cloudy weather. Typical. The old joke is that the surest way to bring rain is to buy a new telescope. The lawn is happy–no longer the brown … Continue reading

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