13
Jan 10

Orion - a signpost in the sky

Orion is an excellent constellation to use as a starting point to find some interesting objects in the sky. Draw an imaginary line through the three stars that make up the belt; now follow this line downwards (bottom left) and you should come to an extremely bright star – in fact it’s the brightest star in the sky and it’s name is Sirius or “the dog star”, it is in the constellation of The Great Hunting Dog. Not only is Sirius very bright, but it is also one of our closest stars.
If you follow your imaginary line upwards (top right) you will come across another very bright star, this time it’s Aldeberan in the constellation of Taurus, the Bull. If you continue the imaginary line you will come across what looks like at first a small cloud, if you look carefully you should be able to see six (or if you have a really dark sky) seven stars, this is an open star cluster called the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters – with a pair of binoculars you should be able to see 20 or so stars.
Another imaginary line left (eastwards) across the two shoulder stars indicates the direction of Procyon in the Small Hunting Dog, and a final line from Rigel through Betelgeuse points to Castor and Pollux the two main stars of the constellation of Gemini or the Twins.
You should now be able to find 7 of the brightest stars in the sky and one of the most impressive open star clusters.

Have fun!

Image credit: Wikipedia
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9
Jan 10

From the Big Dipper to the Southern Cross

If you cannot get out to observe because of bad weather don't forget the second session of the project "From the Big Dipper to the Southern Cross" on the 10th of January, the project intends to bring the two hemispheres together - truly One People, One Sky! For this project there will be two telescopes - one in the northern hemisphere and one in the south - on two different nights. No experience is needed. This is a chance to watch as an experienced telescope operator and guide show how they capture the wonders of the night sky. Join other members of AWB Affiliates around the world. Chat will be available between participants and with the telescope operator. Join in or just watch - should make excellent armchair astronomy!

For more information take a look at http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/.

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8
Jan 10

Observational idea - Melotte 20

If you are looking for something relatively easy to show to people why not try Melotte 20 (also known as Collinder 39); this is an open cluster centered around the star Alpha Persei (or Algenib), the brightest star in the constellation of Perseus.

The cluster can be seen with the naked eye if you have a really dark sky, otherwise a pair of binoculars will show it in all its glory.

For more information about Melotte 20, take a look here: www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/alphaper.html

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6
Jan 10

From the Big Dipper to the Southern Cross

Scheduled for the 8th and the 10th of January, the "From the Big Dipper to the Southern Cross" project intends to bring the two hemispheres together - truly One People, One Sky!

For this project there will be two telescopes - one in the northern hemisphere and one in the south - on two different nights. No experience is needed. This is a chance to watch as an experienced telescope operator and guide show how they capture the wonders of the night sky.

Join other members of AWB Affiliates around the world. Chat will be available between participants and with the telescope operator. Join in or just watch.

For more information take a look at www.astronomerswithoutborders.org.

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4
Jan 10

The observational blog site for the EAAE

Dear readers

As you know the EAAE is under big website transformations.
This blog has been built to provide observational alerts about astronomical events that can be seen during the following nights.
The responsible for this blog will be Bob Larcher an EAAE member that has a long term collaboration history with the French section of the EAAE and that is now part of the EAAE's webteam.

We hope you will enjoy it.

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4
Jan 10

The observational blog site for the EAAE

Dear readers

As you know the EAAE is under big website transformations.
This blog has been built to provide observational alerts about astronomical events that can be seen during the following nights.
The responsible for this blog will be Bob Larcher an EAAE member that has a long term collaboration history with the French section of the EAAE and that is now part of the EAAE's webteam.

We hope you will enjoy it.

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6
Dec 09

The Geminids are coming

Geminids
Star trails and a Geminid meteor over Brasstown Bald mountain, Georgia, in 1985.
Image Credit and Copyright: Jimmy Westlake

The annual Geminid meteor shower, which will reach its maximum on the night of Dec. 13-14, usually offers the best show of the year, outperforming even the Perseid shower of August. This year, the Geminids will peak three days after new moon, so viewing conditions should be favorable. In a clear sky, observers may see more than 100 meteors per hour. (read more)
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