Two Self-Portraits (of planet Earth)

Just before the holidays, I had the opportunity to do a little driveway stargazing with a guest from Syria. His hometown is just outside the city of Homs, actually, and if you read or listen to just a little news you know his people are going through a very, very hard time. Getting shot in…

Astronomy and Clafoutis

One of my big goals for being an “Astro VIP” for the Park Service this summer was to do as much public outreach as I could. Well, I can safely stand in front of that “Mission Accomplished” banner without fear of later historical revisionism. Astronomy outreach is a mixed skill set that involves simultaneously talking (which for me,…

Destinations and Journey, or, why am I in Utah again?

So I have arrived in Utah. Capitol Reef National Park is in south-central Utah. Though a sprawling park, it’s mostly overlooked by travelers rushing from the big letter parks of Zion, Bryce Canyon and Arches. I like places that are mostly overlooked by others…it always suggests to me that there’s really something of value there.…

Dobstuff.com Telescope Time Lapse

So I’m writing a review for what I hope will become my bicycle-transportable telescope. It’s a three-pole dobsonian design made by Dennis Steele of dobstuff.com and designed to be lightweight and easily broken down into components for a more compact travel profile. Dennis offers complete telescopes, rebuilds from existing components, and kits for semi-DIYers like…

February Second Friday Musings

Just a few days until the second Friday in February and, hopefully, our third successful winter star party at Washington Park. Check this space on Friday afternoon for a weather prediction. Again, however, the basic rule: if it’s clear around 6pm, I’ll be out there with my telescope. This has been a tough couple of…