Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova in the Morning Sky

 

Crop of NP101is image of Comet 45P/H-M-P. © 2011 Björn Gludau.

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova exits the glare of the sun and is visible in the morning sky.  It will be only 0.09 AU from Earth on February 11, so it’ll be pretty bright — but also very fast! If you saw it in January, when it moved a whole 5° in two-weeks, you’re in for a chase across the sky as it starts the month moving 5° a day!  Continue reading “Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova in the Morning Sky”

Countdown: Annular Solar Eclipse Feb. 26, 2017

TV-76 image of March 20, 2015 Solar Eclipse from Norway. J.M.Pasachoff.

After the penumbral eclipse of the new moon on February 11th, we have an Annular Solar Eclipse just a half-lunar-cycle later. Unlike the lunar eclipse, this one will need proper filtering to observe naked eye or through scopes. The eclipse is annular because only the central part of the sun is obscured, leaving a thin ring (annulus) of light around the edge. This happens because the moon’s orbit brings it closer and further from the earth — so its angular size from earth can vary from 29.4-arc-minutes to 33.5-arc-minutes. The size of the sun hardly varies from 32-arc-minutes due to the small eccentricity of the earth’s orbit. Thus, the moon can appear to be bigger or smaller than the sun according to the circumstances. Continue reading “Countdown: Annular Solar Eclipse Feb. 26, 2017”

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – Feb. 11, 2017

Some phase of this lunar eclipse is visible from most of the planet. All phases are visible in the region from the eastern parts of North and South America to Europe, Africa, and western Asia. The eclipse is “penumbral” because the moon misses the deepest part of the Earth’s shadows — the “umbra”. This also means it’s easy to miss the initial and later stages as the darkening is not as dramatic and it will lack the color-cast of an eclipse that includes passage through the umbra.

Eclipse map courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, from eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov.

Continue reading “Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – Feb. 11, 2017”

NOW SHIPPING: New DeLite Focal Lengths!

DeLites with adjustable eyeguard in up-position.

Tele Vue is pleased to announce new DeLite focal lengths are now shipping!  Rounding out the series will be focal lengths of 13mm, 4mm, and 3mm. These new DeLites are of course parfocal with the current 18.2mm, 15mm, 11mm, 9mm, 7mm, and 5mm models. Continue reading “NOW SHIPPING: New DeLite Focal Lengths!”