December 2021 Stargazing – Meteor Showers, Planet Alignments, And A New Comet

If you can stand the cold, December could be the best month of the year for stargazing. We better start with the planet Venus, because it won’t be back in the evening sky until December 2022. Get out of bed early (3:30am – 5:30am) on the mornings around Thursday, December 9 to see Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard), a new comet discovered in January of this year. It is located one-third of the way up the eastern sky, near the circle of stars that form the head of Serpens Caput (the Snake’s Head). You may need binoculars for a good view. […]

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2021 Sky-Watchers Gift Giving Guide

Looking for a unique 2021 Holiday gift for someone special? Check out the ideas below for the stargazer  from beginner to advanced and young to old. Dreaming of becoming an astronaut, but currently a couch potato?  You could start that special person with a good pair of binoculars. If they are ready for a telescope, don’t waste your money on one that is difficult to assemble or too complicated. Here is a list of quality telescopes ranging from $100 to $2,000. Don’t be confused by terms like focal length, aperture, reflector, and refractor. A reflector telescope uses mirrors and a […]

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Cygnus The Swan Constellation Seduces Across Ancient Greek, Hindu, and Chinese Mythologies

Symbolism: Cygnus The Swan Mythology: In one of several Greek myths, the god Zeus disguises himself as a swan, then seduces Leda, the Spartan king Tyndareus’s wife. She gave birth to two sets of twins, the immortal Pollux and Helen, who were fathered by Zeus and the mortal Castor and Clytemnestra, who were fathered by Tyndareus. Castor and Pollux are represented by the zodiac constellation Gemini. In Hinduism, the period of time (or Muhurta) between 4:24 AM to 5:12 AM is called the Brahmamuhurtha, which means “the moment of the Universe”; the star system in correlation is the Cygnus constellation. This is believed to be a highly […]

Why is naming a star with Name a Star a unique gift idea?

Why is naming a star with Name a Star a unique gift idea? Name a star provides the opportunity to name a real star in the sky that currently only has a catalog number. You then customize the gift to honor the recipient on the special occasion. The most popular customization is for you to create a short tribute or message that is printed on the Certificate of Registration. These can be funny, serious, or sad depending on the situation. You can use one of the sample tributes or create your own unique tribute. Let’s look at some of the […]

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Constellation Aquila The Eagle Soars Thru Romantic Stories Of Multiple Cultures

Symbolism: Aquila the Eagle Mythology: Aquila represents the eagle, which held Zeus’s/Jupiter’s thunderbolts in Greco-Roman mythology. Aquila is also associated with the eagle that kidnapped Ganymede, a son of one of the kings of Troy (associated with Aquarius), to Mount Olympus to serve as cup-bearer to the gods. In another story, the eagle is found guarding the arrow of Eros (represented by the constellation Sagitta), which hit Zeus and made him love-struck. In yet another myth, Aquila represents Aphrodite disguised as an eagle, pretending to pursue Zeus in the form of a swan, so that Zeus’ love interest, the goddess Nemesis, would give him shelter. […]

Learn How Different Cultures Have Contributed To Naming The Stars In The Sky

The names of stars come from many sources that vary in different regions of the world. Many cultures have rich histories of naming stars for mythology, agriculture, timekeeping, and navigation. Some of the most notable ancient cultures to catalog star names are Greek, Egyptian, Chinese, Polynesian, Persian, Indian, Babylonian, and Native American. The Chinese inscribed star names on tortoise shells and were the first to record a super nova. Early Polynesians were highly skilled wayfinders who sailed thousands of miles over open ocean navigating by the stars. Egyptians created the modern calendar to predict the annual flooding of the Nile […]

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Discover The Risqué Stories Behind Delphinus The Dolphin

Summary: Delphinus is both  a fun summer constellation and a racy character in mythological Greek stories of seduction and betrayal. Symbolism: Dolphin Mythology: There are two myths associated with the constellation Delphinus. According to the first, Greek god Poseidon wanted to marry Amphitrite, a beautiful nereid. However, wanting to protect her virginity, she fled to the Atlas mountains. Poseidon then sent out several searchers, among them Delphinus, the dolphin. Delphinus accidentally stumbled upon her and was able to persuade Amphitrite to accept Poseidon’s wooing. Out of gratitude, the god placed the image of a dolphin among the stars. In the […]

Father’s Day Stargazing Gift Guide 2022

Looking for a unique Father’s Day gift that gets Dad outside? Check out the ideas below for the stargazing dad from beginner to advanced. Would dad like to get a closer look at the stars without becoming an astronaut? You could start him out with a good pair of binoculars. If dad is ready for a telescope, don’t waste your money on one that is difficult to assemble or too complicated. Here is a list of quality telescopes ranging from $100 to $2,000. Don’t be confused by terms like focal length, aperture, reflector, and refractor. A reflector telescope uses mirrors […]

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Spring Adventures In Night Sky Viewing

Lions, meteors, and space dust in the sky. Oh my! Spring is a great time for stargazing. Temperatures have gotten a bit warmer and the nights are still long. In 2021, the spring equinox is officially March 20th. A very bright Venus is still visible on the western horizon just after dark. To the south, Orion’s belt with the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, will disappear below the horizon in a few weeks, so get your last look until next fall. In the east, the stars of spring are rising: Regulus in Leo, ruby red supergiant Arcturus in Boötes, […]

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How Stars Are Born And Die

The interstellar space between stars is not empty. It contains large amounts of gas and dust particles. These particles swirl around in space, and just like the dust in your house, they are not evenly distributed. We have all found dust bunnies under the furniture in the corners. The same thing happens in space as these particles accumulate into molecular clouds. Molecular clouds are mix of atoms, molecules, and dust. Atoms are the small building blocks of all the stuff around us. Molecules consist of two or more atoms joined together. The molecules present in molecular clouds are typically molecular […]

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