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...

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...

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...

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...
How to see 60 satellites!

How to see 60 satellites!

You may have heard about the launch of 60 test satellites by SpaceX on their Falcon 9 last week. They eventually plan to have several thousand low earth orbit satellites providing Internet access to underserved parts of the world. For the next few days you can see...