Category: Sky Talk
Taurid fireball descending in glowing aurora on November 9, 2015. 20,000-year-old Taurid meteor is said to be 20,000 years old.

December SkyTalk | A Repeat Performance

Last year’s annual Geminid Meteor Shower was as perfect as it can get, with its late evening peak viewing time and absence of moonlight to brighten the sky. Unfortunately, a lot of the country was…


November SkyTalk | Polluting Space

Pollution in its various forms is a major environmental issue today, seriously impacting the water, land and air, and the quality of life in general…


October SkyTalk | Forgotten Space-Age Milestones

Every year, the anniversaries of two of the greatest events in all of human history come and go with little notice from most of the human race. We skywatchers should do everything we can to keep these alive and not allow them to fade forgotten into oblivion.


September SkyTalk | Total Lunar Eclipse!

On the evening of September 27th, skywatchers throughout North America will be treated to one of nature’s grandest celestial sky shows – a total eclipse of the Moon. And unlike the one in April which occurred in the early predawn hours, this one will happen during …


August SkyTalk | A Moonless Meteor Shower!

This is “meteor month” — so named after the famed Perseid Meteor Shower that peaks each year during the second week of August. In addition to being among the richest of these annual celestial fireworks displays, it’s the best-known and most reliable of them all. The only uncertainty involved in viewing such events is if …


July SkyTalk | Crescent Worlds Embracing!

About 30 minutes after sunset on the evening of Saturday, July 18th, the Moon and radiant Venus will present a truly awesome sight in the western sky.  The planet will appear to be touching the northern “horn” of the crescent Moon!  This spectacle will rivet the attention of even the most casual of skywatchers looking upward.  But there’s more to this celestial conjunction than just meets the eye.


June SkyTalk | Jupiter Meets Venus!

The mythological celestial “King of the Gods” is about to embrace the “Goddess of Love.” Jupiter has dominated the eastern and southeastern sky for months now, as has Venus the western one. But the King has been slowly moving westward and drawing ever-closer to the Goddess, seemingly attracted by her gravational pull. Although gravity itself isn’t actually at play here, the force involved in their attraction to each could metaphorically be another form of it—what the famous visionary Buckminster Fuller was referring to when he said that “Love is metaphysical gravity.”


May SkyTalk | Acquiring A Telescope

Poet Robert Frost felt that someone in every town owed it to the town to have a telescope. I would extend this to someone in every home should have one! And there are three basic ways to come about one of these magical instruments: making one (including the optics) from scratch, assembling a scope from available components, or purchasing a complete commercially-made instrument out of the box.


April SkyTalk | Venus & The Pleiades

In last month’s installment, we highlighted a bright planet and a star cluster—Jupiter and the Beehive. This month we do it again—this time it’s Venus and the Pleiades. Both are so bright that they can be seen with the unaided eye anytime the sky is clear. And the view in binoculars when near each other is truly spectacular!


March SkyTalk | Jupiter & The Beehive

For the next couple of months, the magnificent planet Jupiter visits the Beehive star cluster in Cancer. The former is obviously visible to the unaided eye under even the worst light pollution—and the cluster can be glimpsed naked-eye given a dark moonless night. In either case, both are a lovely sight in binoculars.