Charles Hakes


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

Gauge the temperature of a star by its color

Greetings, Stargazers. Last month, I began a discussion of how stars are classified by their brightness and color, or more technically, by their luminosity and spectroscopic classification. I...

DATE: May 11, 2019 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Absolute magnitude allows us to compare luminosity of different stars

Greetings, Stargazers. Stars come in all colors and sizes. But our eyes limit us to seeing very few of those colors. And the range of apparent magnitudes of stars we can see with our naked eye is...

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

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

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