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Charles Hakes

Email: hakes_c@fortlewis.edu

Low orbit satellites reflect sunlight after sunset, before sunrise

Greetings, Stargazers. My May column is often a time I get to list upcoming summer star parties, but for another month, these will have to wait. I really do hope that we can get together soon, but...

DATE: May 9, 2020 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Comets are unpredictable travelers through the solar system

Greetings, Stargazers. Now that the days are getting warmer and our entertainment options are more limited, this might be the perfect time to sit in isolation under the stars and contemplate your...

DATE: April 10, 2020 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Photographs of the night sky require careful processing

Greetings, Stargazers. The social media meme I saw last week directed at teachers is that there is a time change, a full moon and a Friday the 13th all in the same week, so good luck. I am not...

DATE: March 14, 2020 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Deep-sky astrophotography requires accurate focus, tracking

Greetings, Stargazers. Last month, I began describing a typical night of remote astrophotography, covering opening the dome, cooling the camera and pointing the telescope in the right direction....

DATE: Feb. 8, 2020 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

How deep-sky astrophotography works at the Old Fort Lewis Observatory

Greetings, Stargazers. I must admit that I spend more time looking at the stars and other celestial objects with the aid of a camera than I do with my naked eye. I have written a couple of...

DATE: Jan. 11, 2020 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Comet Borisov visits from outside solar system

Greetings, Stargazers. It was only two years ago that the first confirmed interstellar object was identified passing through the solar system. The fact that the asteroid-like object ‘Oumuamua...

DATE: Dec. 14, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Great Square defines Pegasus in the autumn sky

Greetings, Stargazers. The fall evening sky is often thought of as the empty gap between the rich summer Milky Way sky and the bright winter constellations surrounding Orion. In the middle of this...

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

Find some of the oldest stars in globular clusters

Greetings, Stargazers. I need to make myself a set of cheat cards for my favorite objects in the sky so I can answer questions in more detail at the next star party. I have to admit that I rely on...

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

Discover gems inside night sky’s flying swan

Greetings, Stargazers. Cygnus the swan is flying south along the Milky Way. Although Cygnus is one of the larger and brighter constellations, I haven’t yet written a separate column on this...

DATE: Sept. 14, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Hubble palette reveals glowing clouds of gas

Greetings, Stargazers. Happy monsoon season. I have been enjoying the nice clear mornings, followed by afternoon, dog-freaking thunderstorms, even if it puts a damper on evening observations. If...

DATE: Aug. 10, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Try this exercise to see how far the moon is from Earth

Greetings, Stargazers. This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Some of us were lucky enough to be around when that happened. I was a space enthusiast since before I...

DATE: July 13, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Find Jupiter to track down the night sky’s scorpion

Greetings, Stargazers. June includes the summer solstice, which makes it the month with the most daylight and the least amount of darkness. Fortunately, the summer night sky includes some of the...

DATE: June 8, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

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