Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, USA

Category: Observing

Bringing Space Exploration & the Night Sky Down to Earth

March 2019 Messier Marathon

A Messier Marathon is thankfully not a 26.2 mile run with your telescope. That would be bad for the telescope and the astronomer’s back! Rather, it is an attempt to observe as many of the objects on the Messier astronomical catalog, compiled by the 18th century astronomer, Charles Messier. Each March in the northern hemisphere,…
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Early February Observing

As it turns out, 2018 was not a very good year for observing. The weather did not cooperate on most of my planned observing sessions where they were sessions with my club, the Raleigh Astronomy Club or attendance at star parties (see my post 2018 ECVAR). However, 2019 is starting out better. On the night…
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2018 ECVAR (East Coast Video Astronomy Rendezvous)

The fall of 2018 will not be remember for good astronomy by people in the Mid-Atlantic states. Hurricanes Florence and Michael made a mess of things in September and October, respectively. However, in October, there were 2 star parties scheduled, ECVAR (East Coast Video Astronomy Rendezvous) and SRSP (Staunton River Star Party). I decide to…
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July 2018 Grazing Lunar Occultation

On July 2, 2018 the star Deneb Algedi (a.k.a Delta Capricornus) was occulted by the moon. From a location in Cary, NC, this event could be viewed as a Grazing Lunar Occultation where the star would pop in and out of view due to the mountains and valleys on the limb of moon. This event…
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2017 Spring SRSP

It was another enjoyable successful SRSP this spring.  I got to see some old friends and make some new ones.  It was especially rewarding to work with a father and son team (Michael & Aaron) at their first star party.  They brought their Orion 6” dob to this outing of amateur astronomers to see what…
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2016 Fall SRSP

The Staunton River Star Party for the fall of 2016 was another excellent star party. It was the a great shakedown trip from my new A-Liner camper plus an excellent time to practice learnings from ECVAR, a video astronomy star party I had just attended a few weeks back. Here is a great video of…
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2016 ECVAR (East Coast Video Astronomy Rendezvous)

This was my first ECVAR and it definitely did not disappoint!  ECVAR is not your standard star party.  Yes, it’s about observing, but it’s about observing with a video camera and not with eyepieces.  The view thru the telescope is fed to a computer or monitor for all to see.  ECVAR is hosted by Cool Breeze Campground, just…
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Pegasus Galaxy Clusters

The October 2015 issue of Sky & Telescope had a very interesting article, written by Ted Forte, entitled “A Few of My Favorite Things.”  In this article, Mr, Forte provides guidance on how to view several galaxy groups in the constellation Pegasus.  Needless to say, I was intrigued and captured by the article.  So much so that…
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Fall 2015 Staunton River Star Party

Life can be pretty rough when attending a star party during good weather.  Okay, I’m being sarcastic; actually attending a star party is great way to spend some quality time under the stars assuming the weather at night cooperates.  If you live in the mid-Atlantic region of the East coast, you really need to check out…
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2015 Supermoon Eclipse

Unfortunately the Supermoon Eclipse was almost completely obscured by cloud cover here in the Raleigh area of North Carolina. However at times the cloud cover was thin enough to get a glimpse of the eclipse. Using my Astro-Video Systems MK-IV video astronomy camera, mounted on Explore Scientific AR102 refractor on a manually controlled alt-azm mount,…
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