Amazing Stargazing Sights This Week

Written by The Night Sky Guy on June 2, 2014 – 7:35 pm -

Jupiter and its largest moons will be one of this weeks highlights in the night sky.

Jupiter and its largest moons will be one of this week's highlights in the night sky.

Sky-watchers in the right place and the right time may get to see a green comet, a very rare triple shadow on Jupiter and the moon having close encounters with planets and stars.

By far the easiest sky events for the unaided eyes and visible nearly everywhere around the world will be when the moon has close encounters with Mars and the bright star Spica towards the end of this week.

Easily seen even under heavily light polluted skies within city limits, the moon and a handful of stars and planets never fail to please even the beginner sky-watcher.

So take the time to get outside the next clear night and look up!

Get all your observing details for these and other sky events this week at my weekly skywatching column at National Geographic News.


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Tonight: Watch Meteor Shower LIVE Webcast

Written by The Night Sky Guy on May 23, 2014 – 6:21 am -

Are you clouded out for the surprise meteor shower peaking on May 24th?

Then tune in to a live web broadcast of the sky show offered by Slooh, an astronomy outreach company that will cover this possible meteor storm and the parent comet live as it nears Earth during its orbit.

Slooh will broadcast the comet event from its telescopes located off the west coast of Africa, at the Institute of Astrophyiscs of the Canary Islands, on May 23rd starting at 3 PM PDT / 6 PM EDT / 22 UTC – International Times – and then will follow up with live coverage of the new meteor shower starting at 8 PM PDT/ 11 PM EDT/ 03 UTC (5/24) – International Times.

Viewers can ask questions during the comet show by using hashtag #slooh.

Comet Broadcast: Starts 6 pm EDT

Meteor shower broadcast: starts 11 pm EDT


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Possible Major Meteor Shower This Weekend

Written by The Night Sky Guy on May 22, 2014 – 8:30 pm -

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Skywatchers across North America are waiting with much anticipation for a new meteor shower that may even rival the trusty Perseids in August.

Some predictions are calling for up to 200 shooting star per hour between 2 and 4 am Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday, May 24th (11 pm on May 23 to 1 am PDT).  And there is one prediction by an astronomer that it may even be a meteor storm coming our way with up to 1000 meteors per hour!

About three years ago astronomers studying comets and their deris stream made a prediction that on May 24, 2014 Earth may be graced by a never-before-seen meteor shower called the ‘May Camelopardilids’.  Like all other showers, this one gets its name from the constellation where it appears to radiate out from, which in this case is Camelopardis – the giraffe.

While all this sounds extremely exciting we have to remember that these are based on computer models that are plotting out where Earth may be plowing through a cloud of debris floating between the inner planets.  Meteor showers occur when our planet slams into a stream of particles left behind by comets.  In this case its debris deposited in the 1800’s.   So basically one big educated guess where exactly Earth will be crossing the cometary debris cloud that causes the meteor shower.

It could literally be the best sky show in decades or a big bust.

But since no one knows for sure, I know what I will be doing in the early morning hours of Saturday. Getting out my blanket, brew some hot chocolate and keep looking up.

Read my complete viewer’s guide with skycharts at National Geographic News.


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Apologies for Going Offline

Written by The Night Sky Guy on May 22, 2014 – 8:12 pm -

I just wanted to apologize for dropping off with posts and updates the past few weeks. I have been battling a perfect storm of both illness and technical issues. Hopefully everything will be getting back on track soon.

Thanks for your patience.

Andrew


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Lunar Eclipse Paints Sky Red

Written by The Night Sky Guy on April 15, 2014 – 12:40 pm -

The full moon blushed in the skies above the entire Western Hemisphere this morning.

The lunar eclipse has come and gone and it was a hit and miss affair for many as some locations were clouded out in North America.  But many got great views of the moon gliding through Earth’s shadow and stunning photo opportunities presented themselves. Check out this amazingly crisp and vivid portrait of our moon while in the totality phase by Joel Tonyan in Colorado.

Check out this great gallery for more eclipse shots.  Remember the next lunar eclipse will be on October 8, 2014!  Let’s hope for clear skies.

Credit:Joel Tonyan

Credit:Joel Tonyan


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Watch Lunar Eclipse LIVE Webcast

Written by The Night Sky Guy on April 14, 2014 – 6:07 pm -

The Virtual Telescope Project and Astronomers Without Borders are teaming up to present the total lunar Eclipse on April 15 to everyone on the planet through live broadcasts from telescopes located throughout North America.

Catch the action starting at 2:30 am EDT /  06:30 UT right here. If video does not load on this page then go directly here.

2014TotalLunarEclipse

Also check out this alternate broadcast provided by the Coca-Cola Science Center at Columbus State University in Georgia. Feed should start Monday @ 11 pm EDT.

Live streaming video by Ustream


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Where is the Total Lunar Eclipse Visible?

Written by The Night Sky Guy on April 14, 2014 – 6:13 am -

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Here’s a wonderful map of the Earth and link for the upcoming lunar eclipse that will tell you whether it’s visible where you are (weather permitting). If you’re in any of the red zone, all or part of the eclipse will be visible to you April 14-15!

Clouded out or wrong side of the Earth during eclipse time? Then join a special LIVE webcast and watch the eclipse unfold on your laptop or mobile device.  Check back  at 11 pm EDT (Monday) for the video feed right here…  eclipse begins at 2 am EDT (06:00 UT April 15).

For a viewer’s guide please check out my previous posts and links below.


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Video: Lunar Eclipse 101

Written by The Night Sky Guy on April 13, 2014 – 4:23 pm -

Check out my Weather Network interview on the science behind the April 2014 total lunar eclipse.

Read my observer’s guide to this total lunar eclipse at National Geographic.


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Space News Roundup for April 13 2014

Written by The Night Sky Guy on April 13, 2014 – 2:33 pm -

Check out some of the cool space news hitting the wire this past week on my weekly CTV News Channel interview.


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Lunar Eclipse Coming Monday

Written by The Night Sky Guy on April 12, 2014 – 4:32 pm -

Sky-watchers across North and South America continents and most of the Pacific basin are in for a real cosmic treat this coming April 14/15!

The first total lunar eclipse in well over two years will grace our skies and will be the first of four – a tetrad – of eclipses of the moon that will occur over the next 18 months.  Best part of this celestial phenomenon is that everyone can watch it unfold- even from light-polluted cities – without any optical aid. All you need are your eyes – and of course clear skies!

Courtesy of Fred Espenak

Courtesy of Fred Espenak

Here is a quick timetable chart for folks in North America – so you know when to look up.  Remember the entire event – as the moon travels across the Earth’s shadow – will take over 3.5 hours. The best part of the eclipse however is when the moon reaches totality and turns a shade of orange – red.

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For a complete viewer’s guide check out my story at National Geographic.


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