Blog Archives

Total Lunar Eclipse

In the early pre-dawn morning hours of Tuesday, April 15th, most of the Western Hemisphere will witness a total lunar eclipse.  Totality (when the Earth completely blocks the Sun as seen from the Moon) begins at 3:07 am EDT and

Tagged with:
Posted in Sky Phenomena, The Moon

The Latest News From The Big Bang

It won’t make you richer. It won’t organize your calendar. It probably has no practical application whatsoever. But the scientific discovery announced on March 17th is one of the great discoveries of the new century, and virtually certain to result

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Cosmology

March/April 2014 Sky Watcher’s Guide

This will be an every-two-months guide to what you can see in the night sky, geared to mid-latitude northern hemisphere observers. The original post with more detailed guidance can be found here. What can you expect to see in March

Posted in Uncategorized

You Can’t See That From Here

Take a look at this beautiful time lapse video of the night sky. Ah, if only we could find nice dark skies, we could see such sights ourselves, right?  Well, no.  Actually, you would need to travel to Australia (where

Posted in Uncategorized

Printable Star Charts

For those of you found the star charts in the previous post to be useful, you may want something you can print out without draining all the black ink or toner you have. These are the same star maps, but

Posted in Uncategorized

2014 Sky Watcher’s Guide

You know all those New Year resolutions that you have already broken? I fully intended to post this at least a week ago. Ah well, better late than never… This post is intended to introduce people to the habit of

Posted in Sky Phenomena

Stars of the First Magnitude

No, we aren’t talking about Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. These are the stars you see in the sky at night. If you have ever been confused by statements like the following, then let’s see if we can help you

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Sky Phenomena, Stars

Shopping for a Telescope?

When you are an “astronomy guy”, around this time of year you get inquiries from friends looking to buy a telescope as a Christmas present. Often this is for a child or a grandchild, but sometimes the friend is shopping

Posted in Observatory and Telescopes

Will It Be a Spectacle Or a Speck?

Spectacle or speck? OK, I stole that phrase. But it’s just too good not to use. Comet ISON will very soon be upon us. The image above was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope when ISON was a little over

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Sky Phenomena

What “Gravity” Gets Wrong

Let’s establish a few things at the very beginning. I love movies about space. I quite happily go along with improbabilities like warp drives, phasers, Vulcan mind melds and the concept that every extraterrestrial species we encounter will be remarkably

Tagged with:
Posted in human spaceflight, Spacecraft
Neal Sumerlin

Neal Sumerlin, retired Professor of Chemistry and founding Director of the Belk Observatory at Lynchburg College

Archives