Weekend Present

The best gift for an amateurastronomer is a clear dark sky and thats what mother nature gave me the past days. Add that my weathers been warmer than average, virtually no wind at night and there’s no snow on the ground equals awesome present.

It started Thursday night, the peak of the Ursid meteor shower. Pesky clouds cleared away by 21:00 CST and I saw two Ursid meteors after observing for 40 minutes. From what I’ve seen reported so far the shower was a bit weak this year.

The clear sky gift just kept on giving with Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights clear. I spent that time photographing NGC 1555,Hind’s Variable Nebula, my second try at this target.

Pictured:Clearfield Observatory glows red lateChristmas eve, click for bigger view.

Brief Glimpse: Geminid Meteor Shower

What a nice night to watch a meteor shower here around Lawrence. Hardly needed a coat with this unseasonably warm temperatures (56?). The sky cleared up awhile before the moon rose. I brought a chair outside.

For awhile I sat out under the stars watching for Geminid meteors. I saw several including one really bright one that streaked overhead. The showers activity must be pretty high. Soon the sky started to get a bit lighter as the moon came up, the clouds increased over me. A little taste of the finest annual meteor shower. Very glad I spent some time outside watching.

The Last Forecast

Well I must have been living under a rock yesterday. This morning I hear local meteorologist Don Harmon passed away on Tuesday. It was a tearful morning show on WDAF. I feel very sad about this as Don was a funny and bright guy. He was the single reason I watched the Fox 4 morning show and showed a big interest in space and the stars.

One morning back in January 2003 his comment/question on air regarding why stars twinkle prompted me to email him the answer. I’ve never written any other news/weather person.

Tuesday morning I watched his last forecast.