Astronomical League Apollo observing certificate

& finder doc

Apollo finder image doc & AL observing certificate

The Astronomical League has created a limited time observing certificate. This certificate involves observing all six Apollo landing sites. Click here or on the image above to learn more.

Stay tuned for Mars 2018...

Here and gone. Updates soon(?)

In the meantime, if you live within about a 100 miles of St Louis Missouri and you're thinking of taking on the Astronomical League's Mars Observing Program, then here's a link to a nice ephemeris for Mars supporting that program and a link to a document on how to read it.

By the way: At the end of May a dust storm developed. We haven't seen Mars this good since it started:

Where it all started

What it looks like today, June 18 (at least from my 8 inch SCT here in Missouri):

June 18 2018

I will say it appears more than a magnitude brighter than predicted.

As of July 7 it appears to be magnitude -3 at least. If this keeps up, it should be mag -5 by opposition on July 28th.

Keep you're eye on this guy, it just keeps getting larger and brighter smaller and dimmer with each passing day (we passed opposition a nd closest approach on 1 August 2018. In smaller telescopes like the 8" SCT, the dust storm still looks like the image above :(

Defeating dew one blanket at a time!

A judiciously commented photo album.

Celestron 8" Schmidt Cassegrain with Scope blanket and dew shield

Or how to keep your batteries and controllers functional when it's almost sub-zero outside.



(Click on the image below to see the animation)


Page describing how "Terminator - The small movie" was made as well as the full size animation.

Graphical view 

of the weather predictions along the 2017 total eclipse line.

Locations West to East:
  1. Casper Wyoming is on the centerline
  2. Laing Park is near Alliance Nebraska (west) and is on the centerline
  3. Grand Island Nebraska (East) is on the centerline
  4. Missouri State University is St. Joseph Missouri and is on the centerline
  5. Columbia Missouri is on the Center line
  6. Danville Missouri
  7. Broemmelsiek Park Missouri
  8. St. Clair Missouri is on the Center line
  9. Carbondale Illinois is on the centerline
  10. Shepard' Valley Observatory is just north of the Centerline and is East of Nashville Tennessee





Phases of the Moon

Sketching practice

       Results                                        Practice       

Animated moon

 Animated Moon test (Trust me, it's a GIF - click on it...I dare ya ;)


(Click on image for full webpage)

This project was the stimulus for a spotlight article in the ShowMeSolar newsletter: