Charles Hakes

Email: hakes_c@fortlewis.edu

Spring is galaxy season

Greetings, stargazers. For many amateur astronomers with small telescopes, spring is galaxy season. At any moderately dark site, which includes most of the Four Corners, you can see scores of...

DATE: April 10, 2021 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Catalogs can guide your exploration of deep sky objects

Greetings, stargazers. It has been several years since I looked up a phone number in a printed book. But a generation ago, a phone book was an essential tool for anyone with a telephone. It had...

DATE: March 13, 2021 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Gemini and its twins offer much to explore

Greetings, stargazers. Our season of conjunctions and comets ended when Venus and Jupiter passed each other on the morning of Feb. 11. Now, I plan to revisit a few constellations and discuss some...

DATE: Feb. 13, 2021 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

In January, Earth moves fastest around the sun

Greetings, stargazers. January is the month that the Earth moves the fastest around the sun. Or looked at from our perspective, the sun moves faster through the sky in January. Every day the sun...

DATE: Jan. 9, 2021 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Jupiter, Saturn to converge in the ‘Great Conjunction’ on Dec. 21

Greetings, stargazers. Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard there will be a “Great Conjunction” between Jupiter and Saturn on Dec. 21. Jupiter and Saturn are already...

DATE: Dec. 13, 2020 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Binoculars greatly expand your view of the night sky

Greetings, stargazers. Every couple of years, I write a column about binocular observing because there are lots of things in the sky that benefit from the extra light gathering with minimal...

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

Close to Earth, Mars to look extra big and bright

Greetings, Stargazers. This is definitely the season for Mars, because this month, Mars will be closer to Earth than at any time in the next 15 years. Mars reaches opposition when it and the Earth...

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

Jupiter and Saturn are the stars of September’s night sky

Greetings, Stargazers. September is the month when daylight hours shorten faster than any other month. Even though autumn doesn’t officially begin until the equinox early on the morning of the...

DATE: Sept. 12, 2020 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Inside constellation Lyra, scope out a double-double

Greetings, Stargazers. As I write this, we have just finished a much-needed monsoon week. But today the clouds are gone, and the afternoon temperature is back into the 90s. It definitely feels...

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

Region around Milky Way’s core offers many viewing rewards

Greetings, Stargazers. The center of the Milky Way galaxy is in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. Just after dark, the galaxy core will be rising in the southeastern sky and be due...

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

Phases of twilight: True darkness arrives slowly after sunset

Greetings, Stargazers. June has fewer hours of darkness than any other month. The solstice occurs June 20, and because the name literally means the sun is standing still, the daylight hours a...

DATE: June 13, 2020 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

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

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