csastro.org

Looking Up: Something Old, Something New...

Sep 18, 2017
Stephen Leshin, Collaboration: Deidre Hunter and LARI / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal introduces us to one of our galactic neighbors - Barnards' Galaxy.

Do you live in a small town that is seeing lots of new things being built all the time? If so, you have a lot in common with a tiny galaxy that is our neighbor in space, the remarkable Barnard’s Galaxy. 

Looking Up: A Tunnel Runs Through It

Sep 11, 2017
Terry Hancock (Down Under Observatory) / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal guides us towards the very center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

When you look at the constellation Sagittarius, now visible in the Southern Colorado sky, you are looking toward the actual center of our spinning pinwheel of a galaxy, the Milky Way. And the Milky Way is big, with at least 200 billion stars, and it is dirty – in that there are vast clouds of dust and gas that block our view inward toward the center, or core, of our galaxy.

https://bobs-spaces.net/ / EARTHSKY.ORG

This week on Looking Up Hal tells the tale of a star in the tail of Scorpio.

Hopefully, you’ve never had to deal with a really bad neighbor. But if you are part of the double star system Kappa Scorpii, better known as Girtab, you just might be in for the worst kind of bad neighbor, the exploding kind.

S. Habbal/M. Druckmüller / nasa.gov

And it's definitely not 'the same old thing as yesterday'. Today is the day that many folks throughout the Continental U.S. will have an opportunity to witness a once in a lifetime total solar eclipse!

This is an exciting morning, astronomically speaking, in Colorado Springs! If you are listening to the first airing of Looking Up, at 9 am, pay close attention to what will be happening very soon. If you are listening to a rerun, hope you enjoyed the eclipse!

S. Habbal, M. Druckmuller, and P. Aniol / nasa.gov

In this Looking Up Extra Edition, Mike Procell interviews Hal Bidlack in anticipation of the total solar eclipse coming up August 21, 2017. There's also some additional information on events related to the solar eclipse that are happening in the Colorado Springs area that day.

Looking Up: Me And My Shadows...

Aug 14, 2017
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal has some advice for those observers not in the path of totality of the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21st. In other words, what to expect during a partial solar eclipse.

We are only a week away from that rare and beautiful astronomical wonder, a solar eclipse. If you’ve decided not to drive up to Wyoming or western Nebraska next Monday, let me give you a couple of tips on how to look at the partial eclipse visible in southern Colorado, and what you are going to see.

Looking Up: Slippin' Into Darkness...

Aug 7, 2017
nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Bruce Bookout continues our series of episodes regarding the upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017.

We continue our series preparing for the solar eclipse. Let’s take a look at how older cultures viewed this celestial event.

An eclipse is always a disruption of the established order.  Cultures depend on the sun's movement because of its predictability; It is regular, dependable, tamper proof. And then, all of a sudden. . . the sun vanishes into darkness.  

M. Procell

This week on Looking Up Hal tells the strange tale of a star located in the tail of the scorpion.

Have you ever had that “dead inside” feeling? Not too peppy? If so, you may have something in common with the very interesting star, Sargas. Also known as Theta Scorpii, Sargas is the third brightest star in the constellation Scorpius. It is the southern-most star in the constellation, forming the bottom of the scorpion’s tail, just before it curls back up to the north. 

Looking Up: In Search Of Totality...

Jul 24, 2017
nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal advises us on some of the best 'nearby' locations to catch the total solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017.  

Two weeks ago, in the first of several Looking Up episodes dedicated to the upcoming solar eclipse, I talked about how to safely view the partial eclipse here in Southern Colorado. In today’s episode, I want to urge you to get out of town! In other words, drive a few hours to see this stunning celestial event that most people won’t see in an entire lifetime.

Looking Up: If It Looks Like A Duck...

Jul 17, 2017
Credit & Copyright: Jean-Charles Cuillandre (CFHT), Hawaiian Starlight, CFHT / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we go hunting with Hal for one of the tightest and brightest of the open clusters in the sky , the Wild Duck Cluster.

It’s Duck Season! If you are a hunter, or watched a certain cartoon growing up, you’ve heard those words before. But I’m not talking about any terrestrial feathered friends, but rather the very remarkable and beautiful Wild Duck Cluster, now soaring in the southern Colorado sky.

Looking Up: Do Try This At Home (But Safety First!)

Jul 10, 2017
nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we get the first of several episodes that will be dedicated to the total solar eclipse coming in August.  

One of the most remarkable things that can happen to the skies over the Untied States will take place next month, and so I want to give you a heads up so you can be ready. On the morning of August 21st, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the country! 

Looking Up: Zeta O' Brother Where Art Thou?

Jul 3, 2017
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

This week on Looking Up Hal  reveals an 'inconvenient truth'. 

Can I tell you the dirty little secret of the nonsense known as astrology? Turns out, there are not actually 12 signs of the Zodiac, but rather 13. Yup, the Sun moves through 13 constellations each year, not 12, so astrologers just pretend that the constellation of Ophiuchus doesn’t exist. 

Looking Up: Messier's Mistake

Jun 26, 2017
wikipedia

This week on Looking Up we learn the whereabouts of Messier's missing galaxy.

All June we’ve been talking about cool galaxies that are part of the Virgo Super-Cluster, and are visible in Southern Colorado skies right now. Let’s keep up that theme for this last June episode, but let’s add a twist, seemingly taken from the pages of a TV crime drama – the Missing Galaxy of Messier! 

Looking Up: M98... Coming Soon To A Galaxy Near you

Jun 19, 2017
R. Brent Tully (U. Hawaii) et al., SDvision, DP, CEA/Saclay / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we continue our trek through the Virgo Super Cluster of Galaxies. 

So far in June we’ve talked about a couple of very interesting galaxies visible in the southern Colorado skies. Let’s keep up the trend this week and explore the very pretty, very faint, and very strange galaxy known as Messier object number 98.   

Looking Up: Chain Gang

Jun 5, 2017
Credit & Copyright: Piotrek Sadowski / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we link up with Hal to learn about the Markarian Chain of Galaxies.  

Some people like to wear chains. Some people like to wear really big chains. But in the Southern Colorado skies right now, you can see the biggest chain out there – Markarian’s Chain.

Looking Up: Not So Wile E. While He...

May 29, 2017
earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up guest host Bruce Bookout is back to finish the 2nd part of the Gemini Twins saga.

Rising high in the spring skies of southern Colorado is the constellation of the twins - Gemini.  Look after sunset high in the west for the two bright stars above Orion – Castor and Pollux.  Let’s pair up on last month’s discussion.

Looking Up: King Snake

May 22, 2017
Image via bisque.com / EARTHSKY.ORG

This week on Looking Up we learn the tale of  Hydra the snake, the longest constellation in the night sky.

If you are keeping up with your action movies these days, you know of the danger posed by the evil organization, Hydra! In the world of Marvel Comics, Hydra is a big deal.

Wikipedia

This week on Looking Up Hal gives some perspective on the amount of stars in the sky.  

One of the challenges in astronomy is getting your brain around some of the really big numbers involved in studying the night sky. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, contains between 200 and 300 billion stars. That huge number may be easier to visualize when I tell you there are more stars in the Milky Way than there are grains of sand on all the beaches and deserts on Earth. 

Looking Up: Pinwheel Of Fortune

May 8, 2017
Image Credit: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope, European Southern Observatory - Processing & Copyright: Robert Gendler / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we get face to face with M83, a beautiful galaxy , also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy.

If you have a clear view to the south, you may just be able to catch a glimpse of a remarkable object in the southern Colorado sky – the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy!

This very cool object was first recorded in 1752, and Charles Messier added it to his famous catalogue of celestial objects, as M83, in 1781. This spiral galaxy, which we see face on, is special because of its beauty but also because of some very cool science associated with it.

Looking Up: The Trouble With Triples

May 1, 2017
Image Credit: ESO, INAF-VST, OmegaCAM; Acknowledgement: OmegaCen, Astro-WISE, Kapteyn I. / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal takes us on a trip to a galactic triplet.

If you are a baseball fan, you likely are very excited by triple plays. If you love burgers, a triple with everything sounds delicious. But if you are interested in looking up this spring, you can see the biggest triple out there – the Leo triple galaxy cluster!

Looking Up: Eternal Twins

Apr 24, 2017
Wikipedia / via earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up guest host Bruce Bookout presents our monthly archeo-astronomy talk, this one is on the Gemini Twins.

Rising high in the winter skies of southern Colorado are the twin brothers of the sky - Gemini.  Look after sunset to the south for the two bright stars above Orion – Castor and Pollux.  Let’s double up on our knowledge of these guys.

Looking Up: Nothing To Crow About

Apr 10, 2017
Author: Till Credner / AlltheSky.com / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

This week on Looking Up Hal makes a toast at the Cup & Crow.

You’ve heard the expression, “I’ll drink to that!” but be careful with your toast, or you might end up stuck forever in the southern Colorado night sky, like the interesting constellation of Crater, the cup. [Crater isn’t a very big constellation, but it is interesting because of the lore surrounding it, and because of a couple of things in it.] 

Looking Up: Royal Opposition

Apr 3, 2017
M. Procell

This week on Looking Up we hear about the king of planets heralding the arrival of spring.

Spring is here, and the stars that mark the warmer months are starting to appear in the southern Colorado Sky. But wait, what is that super bright star, rising in the east? To paraphrase the movie, that’s no Star! It’s Jupiter, making a bright and beautiful return to the night sky, after hiding in the daytime skies for the winter.  

Looking Up: Buy-noculars

Mar 27, 2017
Hal Bidlack

This week on Looking Up Dana Bidlack regales us with her wide appreciation of the night sky.

Over the past two years, you’ve heard my husband Hal go on and on about the amazing things in the night sky that you can see through a telescope. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a fancy telescope or any expensive equipment to enjoy a star party or even just an evening in the back yard. An inexpensive pair of binoculars will reveal hundreds of wondrous objects, from the comfort of a lawn chair.

Looking Up: Kochabitation

Mar 20, 2017
earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up Hal reminds us that Polaris is not always the North Star.

Chances are, if there is anything you know about navigating around the night sky, it is that you can use the front two stars of the Big Dipper to find Polaris, the North Star. In the pre-GPS world, lots of navigation, from sailing ships to aircraft to even spacecraft, relied on celestial navigation to find their way home. And, for about the last 1500 years or so, Polaris has been the star everyone used. But did you know that this was not always the case?

Looking Up: The Edge Of Night

Mar 13, 2017
NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); Acknowledgment: W. Keel (U. Alabama)

This week Hal spins a tale about the Spindle Galaxy, affectionately known as NGC 5866.

Most things in the sky have scientific names. But sometimes we also name things because of what they look like, like the Big Dipper. And if you are under 50 years old, you may be forgiven for asking what the heck the Spindle Galaxy is named after. 

Looking Up: Big Shiny Red Fire Engine

Mar 6, 2017
Wikipedia

This week on Looking Up we find out about one of the biggest, reddest stars up in the northern sky - the Garnet Star.

When you look at the wonderful night sky in Colorado, nearly every star looks like a tiny diamond of white light. But there are a handful of stars that have a different color. And in the northern night sky we can see just about the reddest star out there, Mu Cephei, commonly known as the Garnet Star!

Looking Up: Mythed Opportunities

Feb 27, 2017
David Lane / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Guest host Bruce Bookout presents another archeo-astronomy lesson.  This month it's all about the Pleiades star cluster.

Our Colorado winter skies contain one of the more famous small asterisms of the sky – the Pleiades.  They resemble a tiny dipper and are often confused as the little dipper.  They are easily found by first locating Orion, then moving to the right to the tiny cluster.  They appear as a petite bright cluster of white stars.

Looking Up: Width & Wisdom

Feb 20, 2017
NASA, ESA, and L. Lamy (Observatory of Paris, CNRS, CNES) / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal takes us planet hopping. The final destination will be the planet Uranus.

Some things in the southern Colorado sky are very easy to spot – the moon, super-bright Venus and pretty bright Mars. But other things are much harder to spot, especially when city lights make viewing harder. So today I want to tell you about a little trick you can use this week to find one of the more difficult to spot items, the planet Uranus, using the much brighter and easier to spot planet Mars, in the early evening sky. 

Looking Up: Show Your Work!

Feb 13, 2017
Merlin 2525 / free clipart

This week on Looking Up Hal comes clean, astronomically speaking.

If you’ve listened to every episode of Looking Up since we started two years ago, either over the airwaves or online, or now by downloading episodes as podcasts on iTunes, you’ve listened to over 100 segments on aspects of astronomy ranging from interesting stars to giant clouds of glowing gas, to how ancient people looked up, to distant galaxies. And you may have asked yourself, how the heck does this Bidlack guy know all this stuff? 

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