We held a successful Christmas star party last year (2018). There was approximately 40 guests who showed up, though at differing time intervals. We had four telescopes that were assembled, ready to observe the Moon and other objects within observable range. Cloud cover did make seeing conditions challenging, but gradually cleared up to allow for decent viewing. Continue reading
I spent a couple hours with some very intelligent kids at Marian Academy on Friday, 23rd November. Marian Academy is a beautiful private school with a Roman Catholic heritage based on Carifesta Ave.
I took my ES-AR 102mm refractor telescope to demonstrate to kids the parts of a telescope, and how to use its basic features. We discussed why pursuing astronomy as a hobby could be beneficial in many ways; for instance, developing a sense of passion or meaning in life. Astronomy can do that! I then discussed about astrophotography, explaining how easy it is to get involved in taking pictures of the night sky. I gave them a tour of my own photos, and the equipment I used to take those photos. To my delight, they were engaged and curious. Continue reading
Renuka Persaud won the Amateur Astronomers Association of Guyana Art Competition of 2018. The grand prize handed over to Ms. Persaud was a 70mm refractor telescope. Her artwork was judged the best among submissions received by the organizers of the competition.
This DIY guide includes everything you need to get started. This is a project worth every effort!
Credit to Dominic Ford. Originally produced by Dominic Ford.
Make your own Astrolabe
An astrolabe is an elaborate instrument which combines a mechanical model of the sky’s rotation through the night – similar to a modern planisphere – with an observing instrument which allows the altitudes of objects in the night sky to be measured. Put together, these two components can be used the time of day, by determining the altitude of a star, and also at what time of day the sky’s rotation brings it to that height above the horizon.
On July 27th, 2018, the Red planet will be almost direct opposite with the Sun in the sky. At midnight, the Sun would reach its maximum distance just below the horizon. At just opposite of the Sky, the maximum point would also be met. Coincidentally, a Total Lunar Blood Moon Eclipse will occur on this night (with totality visible specifically across the Eastern hemisphere).
Mars will pass by the opposition point–the point highest in the sky opposite the Sun’s greatest distance at horizon point–shining brighter while being closest to Earth by distance (35.8 million miles (57.6 million km) ) on July 31st. When Mars passes opposition and approaches perigee (closest distance to Earth) it becomes brighter, and thus, the best time to visually observe and even photograph the Red planet. Continue reading