Well, for the past few weeks, the annual monsoon season has completely descended on Denver, leaving me more time to write my blog and catch up on my astroreading. Mars opposition? What Mars opposition? Unless “Mars” is now the new name for “cloud bottom”. Which, given the global dust storm on Mars, I wouldn’t be […]Read More August 1, 2018: Annals of the Deep Sky; Blank Mars?
So, let’s say you bought your first scope for around $150 to $300 – maybe it’s the Astronomers Without Borders One Sky scope, or one of its clones, like the Meade Lightbridge 130. Perhaps you’ve bought a refractor, like the Meade Infinity 102. Or, it could be that you bought something like the Celestron Astromaster […]Read More July 27, 2018: Goto Telescopes / Mounts
The three longtime readers of this blog might recognize the title of this post; I wrote another post about the shortcomings of my local observing site just short of two years ago, right after I moved into my apartment in Glendale, a tiny little independent city completely surrounded by Denver. Up until now, I’ve basically […]Read More July 14, 2018: My Local Dark Site Ain’t So Dark, Redux; and No-Detail Mars, Redux
I just flew in from the Rocky Mountain Star Stare in Gardner, CO, and boy are my arms tired. Ba-dum-bum. It was great! Well, except for the absolutely lousy stinking cloud-covered skies. It was sort of like, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?” Yeah, it was cloudy – all four […]Read More June 22, 2018: The Rocky Mountain Star Stare! . . . Or Not.
Well, I’m getting super-psyched to be going to my first star party, the Rocky Mountain Star Stare, on Wednesday! My car is gonna be pretty full for the trip to sustain me for all 5 days. I’ve already packed all my astro stuff, my camping stuff, my clothes, books, and am now planning my meals. It’ll […]Read More June 12, 2018: RMSS Observing Lists!
Happy Royal Wedding Day! (If you care about such things. Otherwise, ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, wah wah wah.) A recent post on one of the Facebook astronomy pages got me to wondering about who does what when it comes to customer service in the astronomy biz. Particularly, what are the heavy hitters doing – Celestron, Meade, Skywatcher, Orion, […]Read More May 19, 2018: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Astro Customer Service
In my first time out with the scope since Moab in March (lame, yes I know), I got my first observing session with Jupiter for the season at 2am late Saturday night (technically, Sunday morning). I could have gone out within the past month or so and caught Jupiter earlier, but I just didn’t have the […]Read More May 7, 2018: Stunning Io Transit! And Planetary Disappointment with the SCT