Southwest Life

Explore many objects around the night sky’s summer triangle

Greetings, stargazers. This month is a good time to see the constellations and deep sky objects around the summer triangle. The summer triangle is an asterism that first appears in the eastern...

DATE: Sept. 9, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Pinhole projection method can be fun way to view eclipse

Greetings, stargazers. I have never seen a total eclipse. However, I have seen many partial solar eclipses, including the annular eclipse that passed over the Four Corners in 2012. I find them all...

DATE: Aug. 13, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

The length of a solar day varies slightly

Greetings, stargazers. Saturday night is a full moon. We are also less than a month after the summer solstice. The combination of a full moon and fewer hours without the sun means that there will...

DATE: July 7, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Bright objects serve as guides to navigate night sky

Greetings, stargazers. When first learning to identify objects in the night sky, novice stargazers should start their observations before it gets completely dark. The planets and brightest stars...

DATE: June 9, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Southern sky offers astronomers summer viewing delights

Greetings, stargazers. For summer observing, I like to travel south of the equator. That is, south of the celestial equator. There, you can find objects that would pass directly overhead for...

DATE: May 14, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

How to spot space dust falling to earth

Greetings, stargazers. This is the time of year to dust off your telescope if it has been in the closet over the winter. Or dust off your observing skills if you are like me and have been inside...

DATE: April 8, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Take a look at Taurus to see Seven Sisters

Greetings, stargazers. Spring will be here with the equinox, but before then, we have to set our clocks forward, which gives me another chance to complain about having to follow daylight saving...

DATE: March 9, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Sirius, the dog star, burns brightest in night sky

Greetings, stargazers. Fellow Durango Herald columnist Andrew Gulliford recently extolled the virtues of presidential dog ownership, and there is even a celestial precedent for having dogs....

DATE: Feb. 8, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Keep your feet warm while gazing at Orion, comet

Greetings, stargazers. I didn’t know Durango had a monsoon season in January, but that is certainly what it has felt like for the last week. There is nothing quite like some freezing rain to put...

DATE: Jan. 12, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Supermoons keep stargazers on the couch

Greetings, stargazers. Last month, I think I got more questions about the supermoon than any recent column topic I can remember. A recurring question was how I was going to watch it and what...

DATE: Dec. 7, 2016 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Locator allows you to find stars at any date, time

Greetings, stargazers. One thing I have learned when teaching astronomy is that students quite often have way cooler astronomy apps on their smartphones than I do. Faster, more accurate pointing,...

DATE: Nov. 9, 2016 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

New telescope users can look for these night-sky targets

Greetings, stargazers. One of my favorite activities is to introduce new telescope users to the wide variety of objects that are visible in the night sky. To be successful, this first list of...

DATE: Oct. 12, 2016 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies