Something To Hang Your Coat On

The Milky Way courses right through the Summer Triangle constellations. You can use Sagitta the Arrow to guide you to Brocchi’s Cluster, a fine binocular object, or take an alternate route. The cluster is on a straight line from Altair to Vega so if you point your binoculars at Altair and make a beeline for Vega,…
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An Arrow In The Milky Way’s Heart

The view looking southwest around 9:15 p.m. tonight August 5. The four-day-old moon is joined by the star Spica in Virgo. — created with Stellarium A toenail clipping of a moon will dangle in the sky this evening after sunset. If you look toward the southwest around 9:15 p.m., you should see it without any…
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Fueled By Starlight And Good People

William Wiethoff waits in anticipation as amateur astronomer Jeff Setzer from West Bend, Wis. aims his 22" reflecting telescope at a distant globular cluster. Hobbs Observatory dome in the background. Photo: Bob King/News Tribune I’m back after a good night’s sleep. I had a blast at the Northwoods Starfest at Hobbs Observatory this weekend. Friday night was…
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Till Dawn Do Us Part

I’m writing from Hobbs Observatory near Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the site of the annual Northwoods Starfest put on by the Chippewa Valley Astronomical Society. There’s fantastic camaraderie here among people who love the sky. Outside the observatory, a sandy field looks like a primitive stage for a symphony orchestra of telescopic instruments. Refractors, reflectors, Cassegrains…
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A Positively Electrical Night

A bolt of lightning arcs from a distant cumulonimbus cloud around 10:30 p.m. yesterday evening (July 31) under a starry sky. Details: 80mm lens, f/2.8, ISO 800, 15-second time exposure. Photo: Bob King/News Tribune Last night a line of thunderstorms north of Duluth sent flashes of lightning into the clear twilight sky. I walked down the drive…
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