An Old Friend Remembered

The first time I met Roy I was 12 years old and walking my paper route. When I dropped a copy of the Chicago Daily News at his doorstep, I was thrilled to see that whoever lived here had a telescope in his garage just like me. Some weeks later, after wondering just how to…
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Outer Space Smells Like Fried Steak

Clouds sweep past the last quarter moon last night (Oct. 19). At right, you can see the constellation of Orion the Hunter — and his famous Belt of three stars — over the treetops. The annual Orionid meteor shower peaks before dawn tomorrow morning, the 21st, when you might see up to 15 meteors per hour radiating…
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And I Thought You’d Never Change

Look low in the northwest on October nights to find the Big Dipper. The star names in white type comprise the core of the Ursa Major Moving Cluster. Alkaid and Dubhe are background interlopers. — created with Stellarium The Big Dipper’s been around for thousands of years. It may surprise you to learn it hasn’t…
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Quiet Joys Of Shadowland

Empty egg cartons are lit by a flash from the side (left). At right, the same cartons are illuminated with straight-ahead, direct flash. The side-lighting shows much more texture and detail. Photos: Bob King My daughter helped me with another example of side lighting (left), vs. direct, face-on lighting (right). Shadows have returned to the moon! That’s…
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Faraway Moonwatching

These diagrams show the positions of Jupiter’s four brightest moons between over the next four evenings — as viewed in 7x-10x binoculars. The yellow ball represents Jupiter. Remember to look very close to the planet to see them. Notice how Jupiter’s orbital motion around the sun will cause it to drift to the left (east) of the star shown. —…
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