Southwest Life

Planets offer easy, enjoyable viewing targets

Greetings, Stargazers. This will be a good summer for planet watching. At most star parties, the planets are considered dusk objects because they can successfully be seen before it is really dark....

DATE: June 10, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

High hopes for Durango’s rocket teams

Greetings, Stargazers. Someone looking up in the Four Corners skies recently might have seen rockets. Yes, this is usually a column about astronomy, but I grew up a few minutes from the Johnson...

DATE: May 12, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Constellation Leo can point you toward the southern galaxies

Greetings, Stargazers. The constellation Leo is high in the southern sky. Leo can be found most easily by looking for the backward question mark, called the sickle, with the bright star Regulus as...

DATE: April 14, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Learn to distinguish the shapes of galaxies

Greetings, Stargazers. This March gives us another month with two full moons and gives me a chance to complain about the popularity of calling it blue. I will have a celebration when we have the...

DATE: March 10, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Search for the winter hexagon in the stars

Greetings, Stargazers. Even rarer than a twice-in-a-month full moon, is a month with no full moon. This can happen only in February. It turns out there are many ways to define a moon period,...

DATE: Feb. 10, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Binoculars, telescopes to enrich your stargazing nights

Greetings, stargazers. I have written a couple of articles recommending binoculars or entry-level telescopes, but it has been a few years since they came out. And because now is the time when...

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

Grab your binoculars to gaze into Cassiopeia

Greetings, stargazers. Queen Cassiopeia in Greek mythology was beautiful and knew it. But her vanity turned out to be her downfall. She claimed that both she and her daughter, Andromeda, were...

DATE: Nov. 10, 2017 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Explore the constellation Pegasus during autumn months

Greetings, stargazers. Autumn brings not only a change in the weather, but also a major transition in your stargazing targets. Many of the stars in the summer sky are bright, such as Vega and...

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

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