Category: Uncategorized

Celestial Geometry

A fascinating assortment of naked-eye geometric shapes is to be found among the constellations visible this month. And to have fun identifying them, there is no better guide than the wonderful Scientifics Star and Planet Locator. Next to binoculars and telescopes, many consider this the stargazer’s most useful tool. (It also makes a great inexpensive …


Beginning of the Space Age

On October 4th, 1957, the U.S.S.R launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, to the shock and amazement of the entire world. This eventually led to the launching of thousands of other satellites pinnacled in the International Space Station, and—just 12 short years later—to the first landing of men on the Moon in 1969. ———————————————————————————————————— Along …


Fiery Stars & Planets

This month offers a great opportunity to see two of the heaven’s best-known, brightest, and ruddiest naked-eye objects—one being a planet and the other a star—placed near each other in the sky. Mars and Antares will be found facing south and southwest, respectively, in the evening twilight. ———————————————————————————————————— Mars is slowly retreating from its awesome …


Finally: A Perfect Perseid Meteor Shower!

One of the year’s best-known and most reliable annual displays of “shooting stars” is the famed Perseid Meteor Shower which peaks every August. But so often the presence of the Moon in the sky interferes with its visibility. But not so this time! ———————————————————————————————————— This year’s display will get underway around 11 p.m. local time …


Lunar, Planetary & Stellar Showcase

Despite having the latest sunset, longest twilight, and shortest night of the year, the month of June still offers an opportunity to see the sky’s brightest objects appear as darkness slowly descends—the Moon, five planets, and three radiant summer stars! ———————————————————————————————————— Because it takes so long for it to get dark this month, many sky …


Telescope “Power”

“How powerful is that telescope?” is a question that’s often asked by those considering purchasing one (or seeing various telescopes at an astronomy club star party). And it’s certainly understandable in that power has always been associated with these optical marvels. But in reality, a telescope actually has three kinds of power—two of which are …


December’s Delightful Shooting Stars

SCIENTIFICS – SKY TALK – DECEMBER, 2017 Were I to pick my favorite of the year’s several good annual meteor showers, it wouldn’t be the famed Perseids of August (seemingly everyone’s favorite) but rather the Geminids of December. It consistently offers more “shooting stars” than any other display—typically at least 100 per hour, and occasionally …

Boy Happy while opening Magic Gift, lights and Stars

Spot the First Planet Ever Discovered

The sky this month (and next) offers an opportunity to see the first planet to be “discovered” in our solar system—Uranus! At magnitude 5.7 it can be spotted with the unaided eye under very dark viewing conditions. The smallest pair of binoculars will definitely show it, while telescopes will reveal that it is indeed a …


Touching A Star

How would you like to touch a star the next clear night? It’s not only possible but inevitable due to the amazing “photon connection”! So many of nature’s wonders we often fail to recognize in our busy lives (the majestic rising of the Earth’s shadow in the east at sunset being just one example). But …