Charles Hakes

Email: hakes_c@fortlewis.edu

Time to turn your telescope to our nearby neighbors

Greetings, stargazers. I hope you enjoyed the lunar eclipse more than doing your taxes. If you missed this one, there are more to come in the next couple of years. The next one happens Oct. 8....

DATE: April 26, 2014 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

The universe likes simplicity: Just ask hydrogen

Greetings, stargazers. We have barely passed the equinox, but it already feels like we are heading into summer. I think another few feet of snow would be great, but in the mean time I hope you...

DATE: March 22, 2014 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

New supernova lights up in the cigar galaxy

Greetings, stargazers. Timing is everything. One day after I submitted my What’s Up in Durango Skies column for January, the brightest supernova in a generation went off in M82. This one appears...

DATE: Feb. 22, 2014 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Alpha stars not always the sky’s brightest

Greetings, stargazers. When learning about the night sky, much of what you are doing is learning names. Just like with plants or birds, the agreed-upon names help you communicate to others what...

DATE: Jan. 25, 2014 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

In 2014, you can help keep the night sky dark

Greetings, stargazers. You probably heard that comet ISON didn’t survive to light up our December skies. What you might not know, however, is that comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy is still visible in the...

DATE: Dec. 21, 2013 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Take a look for comet ISON as it nears the sun

Greetings, stargazers. I have heard that comets are like cats. They both have tails and are hard to predict. Comet ISON certainly fits this description. Early in November, I saw comet ISON as an...

DATE: Nov. 23, 2013 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Satellites race across the sky after sunset

Greetings, stargazers. The time between monsoons and snow also is the season between the objects in the bright summer Milky Way and some of the familiar objects in the winter constellations...

DATE: Oct. 26, 2013 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Supernovae flash with striking brightness

Greetings, stargazers. Last month, I talked about the nova in Delphini. The “new star” was not one being born, but a star near the end of its life gasping “not dead yet!” The Delphini nova is now...

DATE: Sept. 21, 2013 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Nova Delphini: A new bright spot in the night sky

Greetings, stargazers. We all have the rare opportunity this month to see a nova that is, as of this writing, visible to the naked eye. The name nova literally means “new” star. (No, not a...

DATE: Aug. 26, 2013 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Globular clusters: The cotton balls of the Milky Way

Greetings stargazers. The summer Milky Way is in the sky right after dusk, with the brightest parts toward the constellation Sagittarius. That means this is a good time of year to look for...

DATE: July 27, 2013 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Light pollution can steal stars from night sky

Greetings, stargazers. I recently received some new lights for the Old Fort Lewis campus, where the observatory is. These new lights are to replace the current street/security lights, and once...

DATE: June 22, 2013 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

For sky watchers, now is a great time to party

Greetings stargazers. Now that the days are getting warmer, many of us want to get outside more often and even stay outside well into the evening. I find it a little funny that the time of year...

DATE: May 25, 2013 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

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