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International Astronomy Day – April 29, 2017

International Astronomy Day is observed twice each year by astronomers across the world. Local astronomy clubs, planetariums, observatories, and other groups sponsor public events each spring and fall to help newcomers make connections at all levels. The event is also intended to foster public awareness of astronomy and all of the sciences associated with it […]

Why You Need a Sky Atlas

A New Telescope This Christmas? During the Christmas season we are often asked our opinion about the best beginner telescopes for a Christmas gift. There are a great many good quality telescopes on the market now at reasonable prices so it is not too difficult to get a reasonably capable instrument. In truth, however, there […]

Orionid Meteor Shower

As we move forward into winter we are now privileged to have Orion and its many deep-sky objects back in our skies at reasonable observing times. As if to announce Orion’s return to our night skies the annual Orionids meteor shower begins in early October and will peak this year on October 22 with approximately […]

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The Distortion Solution

The map projection used for any planisphere is a flat representation of our spherical view of the cosmos.  Some distortion of distance, scale, area, etc. always results from this process.  In map projections commonly used in planispheres this distortion increases geometrically as distance from the center increases.  In conventional planispheres the distortion can be extreme which makes […]

Summer Meteor Showers

Summer is a great time to be outdoors at night with clear skies and the prospect of seeing a shooting star. As you know, a shooting star is the common name for the bright streak of light given off by a meteor as it streaks into Earth’s atmosphere and burns up from the heat caused […]