NGC253 Sculptor Galaxy

Galaxy Viewing – Seeing at Extreme Distances

Galaxy viewing is a tough Challenge Early astronomers described the dim fuzzy objects we now call a Galaxy as Nebulosity – cloud like apparitions.  They looked like the glow of the Milky Way.  Nebulae had few discernible features other than being dimly visible and literally milky, in Greek, a Galaxy.  Galaxies were theorized to be […]

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NGC 2264 the Christmas Tree Cluster

NGC 2264 the Christmas Tree Cluster

NGC 2264 The Christmas Tree Cluster is an open cluster with nebulosity. It is located in the constellation of Monoceros near the feet of Gemini.  It spans 30 light years in height and is 2,600 light years away.  In small and medium sized telescopes, it dominates the field of view of 50x to 100x magnification.  […]

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NGC 2169 - The "37" Cluster

NGC 2169 – The “37” Cluster

Located about 3,600 light years away in Orion is the open star cluster NGC 2169 – The “37” Cluster. Commonly called the “37” Cluster or “The Hitchhiker’s Guide Cluster” from its appearance as letters or numbers written in the stars.  As with all open star clusters, the stars are arranged in random patterns.  On casual […]

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M35 Smiley face

Observing Open Star Cluster Messier 35 – M35

In 1764 Charles Messier published the first installment of his famous list. M1 to M45 was in this partial list.  M35 is the object of interest for this blog post.  In his small telescope, it first appeared to be a misty patch.  Upon greater magnification it resolved into many stars.  This open star cluster was […]

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Eye Glasses

Telescopes and Corrective Eye Glasses

When looking through a telescope what is better, naked eye or corrective Eye Glasses? My usual answer is to keep your corrective Eye Glasses on.  Corrective / Prescription Eye Glasses correct for distance and astigmatism.  All images in a telescope are at infinity.  The telescope can be focused to compensate for individual distance vision differences. […]

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Messier, NGC, IC Catalogs - Messier 42 or NGC 1976

Messier, NGC, IC Catalogs : Keys to the Universe

Novices to amateur Astronomy are confronted early on with mysterious Messier, NGC, IC Catalogs alpha-numeric designations for the various deep sky wonders marked on star maps. Marked prominently on star charts are the Messier, NGC, IC Catalogs designations.  These are the catalogs compiled by Charles Messier (1720-1817) (M-Objects) and John L.E. Dreyer (1852-1926) (NGC-Objects and […]

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Relativity test by NASA

Relativity is Over 100 Years Old and Still Going Strong

Albert Einstein published his Theory of General Relativity in 1915. In his revolutionary Theory of Relativity he broke away from Newtonian Physics and fused space, time, matter and energy into an inseparable malleable continuum with the speed of light as an absolute.  Newton had the physical meter and the temporal second as absolute immutable constants.  […]

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Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics

Astronomers have conquered the Earths atmosphere’s blurring effects on views of the Universe with Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics. In visible and near infrared wavelengths, Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics has proven to be effective at neutralizing the blurring effect of the ocean of air that is above our telescopes.  Previously, we were limited to […]

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Artificial Satellites in Earth Orbit

Artificial Satellites

There are more than 500,000 trackable objects in Earth orbit. Since 1957, when mankind developed the ability to loft artificial satellites, we have been launching thousands of useful satellites along with their associated spent rocket stages.  Most of the low altitude artificial satellites below 400 miles and their spent rocket stages reenter the atmosphere and […]

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Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Why do stars twinkle? When we look directly upwards at the stars from sea-level, we are looking through 60 miles of air.  When we direct our gaze horizontally and see the twinkling stars we are looking through 700 miles of air.  Stars twinkle, glitter, dance about and change color fiercely from the effect of the […]

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