Recent Astronomical Observations

December 29, 2003- Columbus Star gazing....Orion in color
A fellow astronomer and I met together so that I could show him a new observing site I happened upon for hte Geminids. We had a bright moon, but could still make out the winter Milky Way. Orion was the first object we viewed. I had never seen color in Orion and night was the first time!!! It was absolutely amazing!!! I saw light tendrils of red reaching out from the center which held a green hue. The moon was also targeted in the 8inch SkyQuest before it fogged up. Temperature was 34 degrees when we left:)

December 13/14, 2003- Geminid Meteor Shower
Geminid Meteor Shower  of 2003 pages

November 8, 2003- Lunar Eclipse
I had known that this eclipse was coming, but weather threatened my chances of seeing the show. My fellow astronomer, Mark Egan,  suggested chasing it. Hummm, sounds like fun to me:) We traveled out 11 miles south of Beaumont watching the skies and jumping out of the car every time the clouds parted over the moon. At one point on 365 East Mark pulled out his scope and we viewed the eclipsing moon with his 8 inch scope. The chase was a success, as we were able to view several phases of the moon including the total. The nice ruddy color was visible before the moon was totally eclipsed. At the total phase, as expected, a very thin sliver of white shown. We were not in the total path, but very close to it. The trip was good practice for future chasing!

October 29, 2003- Aurora in Texas
View my observations here. WHOO HOO!!!!

July 26, 2003- Globular Clusters and Star Hopping
My fellow Astronomer, Mark Egan and I took an hour and a half drive from Houston to view the stars. The night was a great success because it got both of us back into observing. Mark brought his nice 8 inch scope and binoculars then began to show me the wonders of the heavens above. Several faint sporadic meteors were observed during the period. The following list is in order that we saw the objects. 
1) M7   2) M3   3) M13+NGC6207    4) M22   5) M101   6)  The Veil Nebula (extremely faint, poss) NGC 6960, 6992, 6995   7) NGC 7789  8) NGC 663+M103  9) Alberio (Beta Cygni) Double  10)  Gamma Andromeda (double)  11) Gamma Aries (double)  12) NGC457  13) Mars  14)M92
The entire viewing session was glorious and I can't wait to get back out there again, under those starry skies:)

July 22, 2003- Satellites Galore
The next night we took some more photographs and counted meteors and satellites from a location West of San Antonio. There were six meteors observed and 13 satellites seen. At one point there were four satellites in the sky at the same time. See my Shadow page for photographs taken this night. 

July 21, 2003- Shadows from the Milky Way
See my Shadow page that I setup for this event. This is one of my dreams come true and it deserves a page all to itself:)  Photographs included

July ?, 2003- Silver Curtains... and Bootes Meteor Shower
A trip to visit my Grandparents fell upon a perfect night of stars. This night the Bootes meteor shower was to occur. Sometimes this shower can be quite nice, but this year the common 1 to 2 meteors per hour were seen. On total I counted 5 Bootes meteors and 7 sporadics. I viewed the stars from 9:30pm to 12am. The skies were glorious as a cool front had just passed through leaving clear and dry skies. The sky was quite deep and some objects stood out brilliantly in the sky. The Lagoon nebula (6th mag) was an easy object as were 

May 15, 2003- Blood Moon- Total Lunar Eclipse
Our last lunar eclipse was in 2000. I have eagerly been waiting for this one:) See my May 15th page on this event.

March 9, 2003- Glorious and big Jupiter
I've been hearing that Jupiter is at its best right now because we are closer to the planet now than we have been in years. Knowing this I've been waiting for clear skies. Finally, partly cloudy in Houston provides the opportunity to pull out the scope. The best kind of astronomical viewing from the city is of the planets:) Jupiter was big and beautiful with the moons clear beside it. The next door neighbor's kids came out and I spent time in a brief astronomy lesson. The children really enjoyed looking through the small scope and enjoyed the views of Jupiter and the craters on the moon. Overall a very successful viewing, sparking that interest in children:)

February 1, 2003- Shuttle Loss
Special Page with radar and shuttle re-entry maps. Dedicated to those who will never fade from our memories, who gave their life in the exploration of science and space.

December 13/14, 2002- Geminid Meteor Shower
Geminid Meteor shower with my sister. See Geminid 2002

November 17/18, 2002- Leonid Meteor Shower
Leonids with two best friends, Carrie and Mark. See Leonid 2002 page

October 11/12, 2002- Area wide Astronomy club meetings and Astronomy Day
Start off the weekend with an Area wide Astronomy meeting with two of my best friends:) On Saturday Carrie and I go to Brazos Bend to join in on Astronomy Day. I heard so many people who were talking afterwards about how much they enjoyed the event and how they want to learn more about astronomy. What a wonderful way to spend the evening. Only regret...one of my best friends had to work:( 

September 14, 2002- Sunspots through heavy ozone!
The heavy ozone for the Houston area  the brightness of the sun was lessened enough that I was able to view sunspot group 105! It was really a neat event! 

August 15, 2002- Bright satellite passes over Houston. Great view!
I knew that ISS would be crossing the Houston skies at 9:30pm on August 15th because of Spaceweather.com and their up to date information. Thursday the 15th, started off with a deluge of rain trapping co-workers at home. My heart sank that morning as I saw the 80% chance of rain all day. I watched the skies while at work and then once again at home. 

At 9pm I went out expecting nothing but clouds. I was delighted to see patches to the skies...ahh, a chance! I went to the local field and gazed into the sky eagerly waiting for the satellite and praying for a clear patch in that area of the sky. 

15 minutes later I saw the satellite:)  The bright satellite was about twice the size of Venus and just as bright as Venus at its best. I watched the satellite cut across the sky like a slow meteor, in a little patch of clear sky just big enough for the path. Yes! Just after seeing the satellite a very nice meteor cut across about 5 degrees of the sky perpendicular to the path the satellite had taken. Wow! The view was just what was needed to end the busy day.

Other events on pages

Saturn Occulted by the moon

Astronomy Day in Brazos Bend

March 31, 2001 Aurora

Leonids 2001 and 2002

Geminids 2001

Comet Ikeya-Zhang

 

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