In my second-to-last blog post, I talked a lot about the Bortle Scale. What is it? Why should you care? Invented by John Bortle in a 2001 Sky & Telescope article, the Bortle Scale is an effective way for you to objectively assess the darkness – or, unfortunately, the brightness – of your sky, or […]Read More September 28, 2018: The Bortle Scale, or Why Gas is Your Friend
Just a semi-brief “observing report” for the Perseids and some other stuff. I went out to the DAS Dark Site on Friday, Saturday, and wouldncha know it, on Sunday, too. Well, more Monday really, by the time we got there. It was definitely a fun astronomy extended weekend. On Friday night there were about a […]Read More August 17, 2018: Meteors and Coyotes and Rattlers, Oh My! and a Mea Culpa
No, no, this isn’t yet another anti-dob rant; longtime readers will know that I actually do like dobs. No, this is more of a heads-up as to the differences between these two popular sizes of dobs, the 8 and the 10, and why, unless you’re a gym rat, you might not want to buy a […]Read More August 11, 2018: Don’t Buy A 10-inch Dob Over An 8 . . . Yet! Magnitudes Explained
One of the problems you might encounter when observing some nebulae and galaxies is that the light that they’re emitting is spread out over a large area – huge, sometimes. This makes them difficult to find and see. The Triangulum Galaxy, M33, is a perfect example of this. Nowadays, it’s risen about 30 degrees up […]Read More October 14, 2017: Spotting Diffuse Objects With Dark Adaptation
Before I get to the main topic, let me just do a quick recap of my observing session last night. I went out to take another look at Jupiter, to see both the Great Red Spot, and a transit of Europa. According to this listing from Sky & Telescope, the Great Red Spot was supposed to be […]Read More December 16, 2014 – What is “light-polluted astronomy”? What’s with that hyphen? And Europa’s shadow!!!