Friday, February 20, 2009

What's on the sky 2nyt?

1. VENUS SHINES - Feb 19, Venus shined with a magnitude of -4.5 in the constellation Virgo

2. COMET LULIN - Feb 24 will be the closest approach of comet Lulin on Earth

3. PLANETS HERE - Mars, Mercury and Jupiter will be prominent in the evening of the remaining days of February. Watch them as they shine closely to the moon.

4. BOOM - A huge gamma-ray explosion was detected. The energy produced in the explosion is greater than 9,000 supernovae. This has been the largest gamma-ray burst in history.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Withering in the Weather

The Ironies of Weather Foul-ups in Stargazing at the Start of the Year

Last Monday, 9 Feb. 2009, there was a penumbral lunar eclipse, which occured from 8:30 - 12 in the morning. Unfortunately, here in Dumaguete City, the weather provided a very minimal view of the moon.

Dumaguete, as you may have heard in the news, experienced flash flood on Saturday (Feb 7). The following night however provided a clear view of the almost full moon. Hoping for good weather, me and my friends waited for the night and then... we were dismayed by the cloudy skies. Ironically, the following night (Feb 10), the moon was clear as a gem in the night.

Another irony was during the annular solar eclipse. I was suppose to have a class at the time of the eclipse, but we just happened to be dismissed early. I was glad since I thought I would not get to see it. Unfortunately all the dark rain clouds covered up the sun.

The weather always plays as a sinister factor when it comes to stargazing. And ironic as it is, in the past weeks, clear skies seem to happen when I don't do any observing. I hope the rest of the astronomical events and viewing schedules for the IYA won't be obscurred by foul weather.

Clear Skies to All! (Please!)