Moonlight Pollution to Manlight Pollution

Most amateur astronomers shudder at the thought of observing with a highly visible moon or a heavily light-polluted sky from manmade lighting. However, a recent couple of nights observing serves to illustrate the value of observing what you can see — even when conditions are not good in a classical … Continue reading

When the Heavens Open the Eyes of a New Observer

Because the nature of the ministry work we do, we have the wonderful opportunity to teach observing to people who have never looked through optics before. Even where skies are truly dark, it takes some re-orientation and training to learn to observe. Casual looks are not what I am discussing. … Continue reading

Eye on the Philippines

Our summer “dog” days are hot and humid and typically cloudy. Observing nights are limited, but when they happen you learn to move quickly. July 31 was one of those nights–it was clear and calm for a few hours. I grabbed the little 80mm refractor that we use in astronomy … Continue reading

Tale of Two Continents — from Observing M51

It is a most unlikely story when observing a beautiful object leads to a story of two men on two continents who have never met. But that is exactly what this post introduces. The whole affair started simply enough: observe M51, which is a beautiful spiral galaxy in the Northern … Continue reading

Thoughts of the Philippines: The “Winter Circle”

The Winter Circle is the name of a giant asterism or pattern in the sky. During January to March and high in the sky is an approximate circle of dominant stars. It is huge in terms of breadth; it cannot be viewed except with the naked eye. On hazy nights … Continue reading