Stargazers from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 20 Aug 2018 22:50:33 -0700 Stargazers from Creators Syndicate 6e3cec2ade15e0c508442a9f59fb7c81 Finding Mercury at Dawn for 08/16/2018 Thu, 16 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of Aug. 19-25, 2018</p> <p>For the past month or so, four of the five naked-eye planets have been beautifully stretched out across our evening sky: Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Mercury, however, has been noticeably absent. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 16, 2018</p> 8953b67451b1249a05af1c0498e94e63 A Stellar Chinese Valentine's Day for 08/09/2018 Thu, 09 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of Aug. 12-18, 2018</p> <p>There's a wonderful Chinese story that tells of two lovers, a poor, orphaned cowherd and a young, beautiful weaving maiden who was the seventh daughter of the Emperor of Heaven. The two were separated and banished to the skies. The young maiden settled at the star Vega, and the cowherd at the star Altair, forever separated by the band of the Milky Way. </p> <p>When the magpies heard this sad tale, they decided to get together to form a bridge across the Milky Way, represented by the star Deneb, so the two lovers could reunite for one day each summer. That day &#8212; the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the Chinese calendar &#8212; is now known as Chinese Valentine's Day, and this year it occurs on Friday, Aug. 17.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 09, 2018</p> a6423ca2b527e288258157718c82a3e2 The Perseids Are Coming! for 08/02/2018 Thu, 02 Aug 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of Aug. 5-11, 2018</p> <p>August has arrived, and I'm one happy guy! One reason is that I can finally see an end coming to the searing desert heat where I live. For another, the night sky is particularly generous with its offerings. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 02, 2018</p> 8731b664aa6f4b2521b65b0561835705 Teapot and the Milky Way for 07/26/2018 Thu, 26 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of July 29-Aug. 4, 2018</p> <p>Nothing in the heavens says summertime to Northern Hemisphere sky watchers quite like the constellation Sagittarius. On late July and early August evenings, we can find this prominent star grouping low in our south-southeastern sky just after dark. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 26, 2018</p> 60b437e5c7a8c7fe622c067ccfa7fb57 Encounter With the Red Planet for 07/19/2018 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of July 22-28, 2018</p> <p>While in college during the early 1970s, I worked one summer as a counselor in a Pennsylvania children's home. One of my favorite residents there was a rather burly streetwise kid named Rufus. Rufus taught me to play pool, and I taught him about space. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 19, 2018</p> 0af6ab4a0aa9de375a69aedd48403273 The Stellar Dolphin for 07/12/2018 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of July 15-21, 2018</p> <p>One of the tiniest constellations in all the heavens now appears. As small and faint as it is, it's not all that difficult to locate, and it's one that I love to share with the public during my stargazing programs. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 12, 2018</p> c854b41e6fae1ce7052ea6440cd77ec7 Find the Stellar Coat Hanger for 07/05/2018 Thu, 05 Jul 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of July 8-14, 2018</p> <p>As many of us stargazers in the Earth's Northern Hemisphere are sweltering under brutal summertime temperatures, it's hard to imagine that cooler weather will ever arrive. This is especially true here at my desert home in Borrego Springs, California, where I can expect daytime highs to hover above or near 110 degrees F for a couple more months. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 05, 2018</p> e228972f496728bba62a676f2b0cb74e As the Earth Wobbles for 06/28/2018 Thu, 28 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of July 1-7, 2018</p> <p>Of all the stars in the heavens, one appears to stand firmly in place. It's not the brightest of all stars, as many people sometimes believe; in fact, you may even have trouble finding it under the light pollution of a large city. But it's always there, in the same position no matter what time of night or which season of the year you happen to glance skyward. It marks the north celestial pole, the spot toward which our planet's rotational axis points. </p> <p>Its name is Polaris, more commonly known as the North Star. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 28, 2018</p> d34843ab6e5069a1f181582ccca045e2 The Ringed Planet at Its Finest! for 06/21/2018 Thu, 21 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of June 24-30, 2018</p> <p>The man who flew a kite in a lightning storm so that we might one day have electricity and penned such poignant words as "in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," the great 18th-century political philosopher, statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin, also had a profound interest in astronomy. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 21, 2018</p> fc7891791134154ff8f6b10d0d5876cd Analemma and the Solstices for 06/14/2018 Thu, 14 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of June 17-23, 2018</p> <p>I'm always impressed by my readers' attention to details. It frequently shows up around this time of year with some great questions. For example: "If the first day of the Northern Hemisphere summer (this year the solstice occurs on June 21 at 6:07 a.m. EDT &#8212; 3:07 A.M. PDT) is supposed to be the longest day of the year, why aren't its sunrise and sunset times the earliest and latest of the year?" And here's another: "Why doesn't the sun appear due south at noon every day like my school books said it should?" <p>Updated: Thu Jun 14, 2018</p> 8a5f523c6f9dee2f1684021b422a27fd A Beautiful Sight at Dusk for 06/07/2018 Thu, 07 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of June 10-16, 2018</p> <p>Have you been watching the remarkable jewel sparkling in the western sky after sunset? Some may have missed it because of thick clouds or mountains blocking the view, but as June progresses you'll see it climbing higher in the sky from night to night as it rounds the sun in our direction. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 07, 2018</p> 88e77f4a1aa13c15ef26a9ca9cc7f3e9 Reading a Star Map for 05/31/2018 Thu, 31 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of June 3-9, 2018</p> <p>I still recall how challenging it was to find my way around the sky for the first time, so I understand what novice stargazers go through. Believe it or not, though, it really isn't a difficult process &#8212; once we begin to recognize patterns among the stars. And that's where a simple star map helps. <p>Updated: Thu May 31, 2018</p> 991168ed7d6087ddace6e0956c85a554 The 'Star' of the Show for 05/24/2018 Thu, 24 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of May 27-June 2, 2018</p> <p>Last week, I wrote in part about the star Arcturus, and I hope you got out to see its beautiful yellow-orange light. This week you'll learn what radio personality Paul Harvey might have called "the rest of the story." <p>Updated: Thu May 24, 2018</p> 3a510a81db185a8725b9b053cf5bc8b8 The Herdsman and the Crown for 05/17/2018 Thu, 17 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Week of May 20-26, 2018</p> <p>Midway up in the eastern sky on spring evenings lie two of my favorite stellar groupings. One is the small but quite beautiful constellation known as Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. </p> <p>The Crown is not one of the brighter star groupings, and you'd be better off searching for it from a dark-sky location early this week, before the moon becomes too bright. You can find it easily by locating a few brighter stars first. <p>Updated: Thu May 17, 2018</p> b51aac82f3fd5dfda8a22245b056e27d Why Is the Night Sky Dark? for 05/10/2018 Thu, 10 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of May 13-19, 2018</p> <p>If you're out looking for the moon early this week, you'll have a tough time finding it. On Tuesday it will lie nearly in the direction of the sun (its new-moon phase), but by Thursday it will appear not far from the brilliant planet Venus in our western sky at dusk. <p>Updated: Thu May 10, 2018</p> a8c90b23e33b23b914294e99f28b028c The Return of Jupiter for 05/03/2018 Thu, 03 May 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of May 6-12, 2018</p> <p>An exciting spring and summer of stargazing &#8212; or should I say planet gazing &#8212; lies ahead, as four neighboring worlds prepare to strut their celestial stuff.<p>Updated: Thu May 03, 2018</p> 81b24c5bbbfffbd21a6f042bb1b50737 Finding the Celestial Giraffe for 04/26/2018 Thu, 26 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of April 29-May 5, 2018</p> <p>Every week, I try to write about a feature of the night sky that's fairly easy for stargazers to spot. Sure, it might take a little effort, but there's nothing wrong with that. So, this week, I thought I'd offer a bit more of a challenge. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 26, 2018</p> c0162d96595738bcd983a1d5e2d589bc Just Mooning Around for 04/19/2018 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of April 22-28, 2018</p> <p>The moon shines beautifully in our evening sky this week, just as it does every month. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 19, 2018</p> ce73caadc6c5e1ee7ec07b1a2f30a8fe The Lyrids Meteor Shower for 04/12/2018 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of April 19-25, 2018</p> <p>I had just begun one of my popular outdoor night sky presentations the other night when the audience erupted with gasps and cheers. I wanted to believe that it was my witty and captivating repartee that inspired their excited reaction, but I knew exactly what had happened. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 12, 2018</p> 97090177ccbca2706273b8b798e468cf Finding the Largest Constellation for 04/05/2018 Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Week of April 12-18, 2015</p> <p>If someone were to ask you which is the largest of all constellations, would you know? If you answered Hydra, you know more about the night sky than you admit. <p>Updated: Thu Apr 05, 2018</p>