June 2008 Archives

Struve 1659 - The Stargate

Move mouse over sketch above to view labels. Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: While making my way to M104 last week, I ran across this startling multiple star. I had read about "The Stargate", but wasn't counting on seeing it that night. The nearly symmetrical arrangement of...
On the evening of Sunday, June 8th, I had the pleasure of visiting Kitt Peak National Observatory and participating in the Advanced Observer's Program--an overnight observing session with one of the program's RC telescopes. I attended with four friends, Curt, Rob, Brazos, and Ken. Curt was the mastermind of...

Messier 104

Click images for larger versions. Observation Notes: It's about time I sketched this beautiful, bright galaxy. Once again, I observed from home, which is not the best place to see structure in galaxies--but the Sombrero was very cooperative. It was conveniently aligned at a PA of 90 degrees. The...

The Hourglass Nebula in Messier 8

Click image for larger version. Observation Notes: Deep in the bright heart of the Lagoon Nebula lies a knot of fluorescing gas called the Hourglass Nebula. While observing at Kitt Peak Observatory's Advanced Observer's Program with four good friends, I enjoyed a couple minutes boring into the Lagoon with the...

NGC 5139 - Omega Centauri

Observation Notes Any opportunity to head closer to Earth's midsection is likely to get a Northern Hemisphere amateur astronomer salivating at the possibilities. The awesome trip we took to the Caribbean last month brought us down to 19 degrees North Latitude. That's 16 degrees further south than Flagstaff, and...

In Pursuit of a Green Flicker

Until a few weeks ago, I've never made a serious attempt to look for a green flash on the setting sun. My horizons are treed and mountainous. And when I have had access to an ocean or flat desert horizon, there have either been clouds or other things to...
After seeing the stunning launch of Discovery the week before, I was really hoping to photograph it while it was docked to the International Space Station. We had a very good pass on Monday, June 9, with an 87° culmination. The last time I photographed the ISS, I used...
Sometimes, a plan comes together before you even realize what's happening. While working out the final details of a Caribbean cruise we were planning to take with my immediate and extended family, we realized that the Discovery was scheduled to launch on the day that we returned to Port...

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