Heads UP! for August 2020

Just Crummy Delta Aquariid meteors are peaking now, but are faint, and mostly seen from the southern hemisphere. They may be crumbs of Comet 96P/Machholz, discovered in 1986, which orbits the Sun every five years. Machholz’s orbit has a strange inclination and is affected by Jupiter’s gravity. It’s been seen by SOHO on each of … Continue reading Heads UP! for August 2020

Heads UP! Star Gazing Plan for Monday, July 27, 2020

I'm hoping the cirrus clouds will not show up tonight here in the eastern United States. They've been beautiful, but I'd like to get a last look at Comet NEOWISE before it gets too faint. It would be a good night for Jupiter, Saturn and the first quarter Moon. Here's the plan: Basics: for NYC, … Continue reading Heads UP! Star Gazing Plan for Monday, July 27, 2020

Catching NEOWISE

Here's photos from Monday evening. 50mm lens Canon XS on tripod, except as noted. I'll add details and photo data in the morning. Parking lot overlooking downtown Ardsley, New York. The International Space Station wore red. Comet NEOWISE wore blue/green. (Seen Casablanca?) Canon XS on tripod. F/2 2.5 seconds, ISO 800, 50mm lens. Was the … Continue reading Catching NEOWISE


My friend Scott is very excited. Here's his take on the notorious Comet NEOWISE. https://scottastronomy.wordpress.com/2020/07/15/comet-neowise/ For those of us with less ability or luck, I would love to list all the "great"* comets I haven't seen, but here's one that's do for now: Comet Bennett (1970) was supposed to be an easy object in evening … Continue reading NEOWISE UP

Heads UP! for July 2020

Short version: Jupiter and Saturn peek over the horizon after sunset.  Earth is closest to them this month.  A nearly invisible lunar eclipse occurs the night of July 4/5.  Mars gets closer each week. Crescent Venus is at it’s brightest low in the dawn sky.  Mercury is in the morning sky later in the month, … Continue reading Heads UP! for July 2020

Sahara Dust UPdate Mon Jun 22 2020

Visibility is down to five miles at the San Juan International Airport. Here's a fantastic view of the dust from the visible-light satellite photo. See the dust, shown as the light tan shading over the Caribbean and next to Africa. The dust may come to the United States and Mexico this week. Click to see … Continue reading Sahara Dust UPdate Mon Jun 22 2020

Sahara Dust in Puerto Rico – Week of June 21st, 2020

A major dust storm is in progress for Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands in the Greater and Lesser Antilles. Concentrations of up to 600 ug/m3 at the surface are forecast by the US Navy dust model. While it's unlikely concentrations this high will be observed, note that the US EPA Air Quality Index lists … Continue reading Sahara Dust in Puerto Rico – Week of June 21st, 2020

Today’s Temperature Inversion

Okay, weather fans, I'd like to misuse a meteorological term today! A temperature inversion is when air temperature increases with height, rather than decreasing with altitude. It's why we've been hearing cars racing up and down the parkways miles away from us here in Westchester County during the evenings through mid-morning. The sound is bent … Continue reading Today’s Temperature Inversion

Venus in the Daytime Morning Sky

Viewing Venus in daylight, near the Sun, is a tricky and potentially dangerous affair.  I like to catch the Evening Star in daytime because it follows the Sun in the sky.*  But Venus has been rocketing out of solar conjunction, becoming the Morning Star.  On June 3rd, Venus was ½ degree above the Sun. Today, … Continue reading Venus in the Daytime Morning Sky