Charles Hakes


Eye on the future: Lots of planets and a farewell

The naked-eye planets are putting on an extended show these nights with something to watch from sunset to sunrise, treats for casual observers.Venus is hard to miss high in the western sky after...

DATE: Jan. 21, 2012 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

In 2012, look toward the sun – with caution

The outgoing year brought us spectacular close-up photos of Mercury and the asteroid Vesta, discovery of dozens of extrasolar planets and more hints of water on Mars and our moon.The coming year...

DATE: Dec. 24, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Scope shopping: Start modestly before you go big

This is the time of year when I receive emails asking for suggestions about telescope purchases.I’m reluctant to answer because there are many options and expectations vary.Newcomers often are...

DATE: Nov. 26, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Bright moon raining on our meteor showers

This has not been a very good year for meteor watching. Our moon keeps showing at the most inopportune times. That’ll be the case again in November.The Taurids result from an unusually dispersed...

DATE: Oct. 22, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

October a good time to see a galaxy away

You know that fall’s here when you can spot the Great Square of Pegasus in the eastern sky in the early evening.Three of the constellation’s brightest stars, Markab, Scheat and Algenib, along with...

DATE: Sept. 24, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Binocs, telescope, naked eye: Ways to view night sky

Summer gives way to fall at 3:05 a.m. Sept. 23. Get out and enjoy the relatively warm nights. We all know they won’t last.Two gas giants highlight the month’s night sky.One, Jupiter, the solar...

DATE: Aug. 27, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Neptune slow, hard to see, but worth a gander

Summer’s southern sky holds numerous deep-space jewels. Three constellations, Scorpius, Sagittarius and Ophiuchus, are loaded with worthy targets, star clusters, nebulae and double stars.Libra,...

DATE: July 23, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Magnify your sky-gazing fun by just using eyes

Clear, dark summer nights may be short but they’re relatively warm, and the sky is draped in our constellation’s glow as the Milky Way streams from Scorpius and Sagittarius in the south to...

DATE: June 25, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Look for Saturn in June – and give Pluto a shot, too

Summer’s coming on. It won’t be long. The solstice arrives at 11:16 a.m. June 21. The nights are short but almost warm, an acceptable combination for stargazers.The sun sets shortly before 8:30...

DATE: May 21, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

May mornings bringing unusual planet lineup

Some of our neighboring planets have been in hiding lately, but they’re showing up now, one in the evening and a cluster of four in the predawn sky.Although it reached opposition last month, Saturn...

DATE: April 23, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

Saturn’s tilt will give ring viewers a straight shot

With winter only a memory (we hope), many amateur astronomers come out of hibernation in April and revisit the night sky at some length. Let’s get those scopes out and see what’s going on in the...

DATE: March 26, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

What’s Up in Durango Skies Mercury, Jupiter provide entertainment in March sky

Cabin fever be gone. Spring is almost here. It begins March 20 at 5:21 p.m.The benefit to stargazers is somewhat offset by the return of Daylight Saving Time on March 13. Darkness will come later,...

DATE: Feb. 26, 2011 | COLUMN: What's up in Durango Skies

click here to add your event
Area Events