Upcoming ISS Passes

We are finally getting some clear skies and the International Space Station will be visible the next few nights. Tonight's pass at 9:36 is especially good since it's almost directly overhead and will be very bright.

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New moon over the Balsams

The waxing crescent phase of the moon was just over one day past new last night (April 24th). As the moon draws away from the sun more of its surface will be illuminated and it will rise later in the day. In about 27 days it sill be full, rise at sunset and set at...

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Homemade disinfectant wipes

We have been practicing social distancing for over a week at Dogstar Observatory and forgot to bring wipes from Atlanta. On a recent trip to Lowes to find some disinfectant (they were sold out of most household cleaning stuff) I did find a shelf full of a product...

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Fireball!

Last month I was lucky to witness one of the more exciting events in the sky - a daytime meteor or fireball. Fireballs are just very bright meteors - typically brighter than Venus in the night sky or bright enough to be seen in daylight. At our home in Atlanta, I just...

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Planets Tonight

Well the clouds are not looking good for seeing the planets at sunset. If by some miracle the western sky is clear around 5:30 I plan to head up to the helicopter pad to try and see Venus, Saturn and the crescent moon. It's about the only accessible place on the...

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Black Friday Planet

Saturn, Venus, Jupiter and a very new Moon cozy up at sunset on Friday. Head up to someplace with a clear view to the low, southwestern sky just before sunset around 5:15. No telescope needed. I will check out some good locations today and send out a notice later.

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Tiny Mercury and Goliath Sun

We got a good view of the transit from the parking deck of my office in Atlanta. Lots of folks came out to take a look and the clouds were mostly thin. There were several "wows" from viewers which is something that amateur astronomers strive for but also some notable...

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Mercury transit Monday morning

Monday morning starting around 7:30 and lasting until 1:10, Mercury will cross the face of the Sun as seen from Earth. Some of you may recall when we viewed the last Venus transit from the helicopter pad back in June of 2012. While Venus transits are relatively rare...

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Fall colors on trail 40

What a difference a day makes - Saturday was rainy and dreary followed by crystal clear Balsam skies and gorgeous fall colors on Sunday. Hopefully we have another week or so to enjoy it.

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