Charles Hakes

Email: hakes_c@fortlewis.edu

Variable stars help us measure distance in space

Greetings, Stargazers. Spring is galaxy season. If you have a small telescope, this is a good time of year to get it out to find galaxies in the sky. Because most will appear as dim fuzzy blobs, a...

DATE: March 9, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Find Perseus, the classic Greek hero in the night sky

Greetings, Stargazers. There are lots of bright stars and constellations in a clear winter sky, but somehow, I haven’t written a column about the constellation Perseus. Maybe that is because the...

DATE: Feb. 9, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

This asterism is a highlight of the winter sky

Greetings, Stargazers. I have to say that comet 46P/Wirtanen last month exceeded my expectations. By that, I simply mean I could see it with my naked eye, even if it was just barely. Every month,...

DATE: Jan. 12, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Mars landing a remarkable feat of space flight

Greetings, Stargazers. NASA’s Mars InSight lander is designed to study the interior of Mars. InSight stands for interior exploration using seismic investigations, geodesy and heat transport. It...

DATE: Dec. 8, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Get away from blue light to see the Pleiades

Greetings, Stargazers. Last weekend was another day rolling the clocks back and another chance for me to complain about it. And a reminder for me to wish for some wonderful time in the future...

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

Binoculars let the light in on the night sky

Greetings, Stargazers. Last month, I started a tour of the evening sky by describing the astronomical objects I would point out as it was getting dark. I hope you got to go outside while it was...

DATE: Oct. 13, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Go out at dusk and watch the night sky reveal itself

Greetings, Stargazers. September is a great time of year to stargaze. I enjoy the crisp weather and the fact that it is getting dark a bit earlier than it was only a few weeks ago. And there is...

DATE: Sept. 8, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Meteor shower to streak across our night sky

Greetings, Stargazers. Every 133 years, comet Swift-Tuttle completes another orbit. When it returns to the inner solar system and is heated by the sun, enough gas and water vapor are released to...

DATE: Aug. 11, 2018 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Find Antares in the heart of Scorpius

Greetings, Stargazers. The 416 Fire has made it challenging for many of us to get outside to see the night sky. I have enjoyed breathing clean air again this week. Now that the smoke has been...

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

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

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