Every observatory needs basic maintenance, and those here at PEA are no different. I usually cringe at the thought, but cleaning is a part of the requirement... not that I dislike cleaning. I actually really find it meditative, and a clean observatory dome makes me smile. The cringe-feeling comes from the prospect of kicking up... Continue Reading →
A Meeting of Jupiter and the Moon
A nice photo opportunity will be taking place on August 17th just after sunset. Head outside and look to the southwest for the crescent moon. Just a little to the lower right (southwest) from the moon will be brilliant Jupiter. Heading more to the west, Venus will be lighting up the sky. Enjoy!
The Annual Perseid Meteor Shower
Each August, the Earth passes through a stream of comet debris from Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. The comet will not be back our way until 2126... so... I wouldn't wait up for that one. Along the orbital path, the comet has left behind small bits and pieces, most no bigger than a grain of sand. These run... Continue Reading →
Polar Alignment with a CCD Imager
This is not for the faint of heart. You need to know how to use a CCD imager and your telescope. I write this here, because there are so many websites with INCORRECT information about this process. Some miss the point completely. All this does is mess with your head and mess with your gear.... Continue Reading →
Spring: the time for planets. They’re Back!
Now mid-March 2018 and there are planets in the sky! Here are some of the notable moments. If you look to the west right after sunset you will catch bright Venus and fleeting (and fainter) Mercury. On March 18th, just after sunset, you might also be able to catch the very young, sliver moon, low... Continue Reading →