Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/feed/regulars/sky-watch-by-j.-alex-knoll en Once In a Blue Moon http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/once-blue-moon <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Just how rare are two full moons in one month?</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>The full moon lights up the night Friday, the second full moon of the month, a Blue Moon.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The history of the phrase Blue Moon dates back several hundred years, but the meaning has evolved. As far back as the 16th century, it was an expression of absurdity. I&rsquo;ll believe that when the moon is blue would have the same effect as saying I&rsquo;ll believe that when hell freezes over.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/once-blue-moon" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/blue-moon-073115.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="67" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/once-blue-moon" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/once-blue-moon#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:31:34 +0000 bayweekly_master 28870 at http://www.bayweekly.com Now You See It, Now You Don’t http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/now-you-see-it-now-you-don%E2%80%99t <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Can you spot the International Space Station?</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>As darkness deepens Thursday, you&rsquo;ll find the first-quarter moon high in the south-southwest with the bright star Spica seven degrees to its lower right.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Friday night the moon has pulled eastward and is equidistant from Spica to its right and Saturn to its left. Even closer to the left of the moon is the faint star Zubenelgenubi, which marks the fulcrum of the celestial scales Libra. Train binoculars on this star, however, and you&rsquo;ll see that it is actually a double.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/now-you-see-it-now-you-don%E2%80%99t" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/night_sky-072615.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="58" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/now-you-see-it-now-you-don%E2%80%99t" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/now-you-see-it-now-you-don%E2%80%99t#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 23 Jul 2015 16:24:38 +0000 bayweekly_master 28723 at http://www.bayweekly.com New Horizons Reaches Pluto http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/new-horizons-reaches-pluto <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Nine-year, three-billion-mile mission to study solar system&rsquo;s outer limits</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>As the sky darkens, Venus and Jupiter appear low in the west. While the gap between the two planets is growing, they are both inching toward Regulus, with Venus two degrees below the star Monday and Tuesday.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Dusk reveals Saturn above the southern horizon with the three stars marking the head of Scorpius beneath it and Antares, the heart of the scorpion, a dozen degrees below.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/new-horizons-reaches-pluto" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/new_horizons-070915.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="66" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-image-caption"> <div class="field-label">Image Caption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> NASA artist’s rendition. </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/new-horizons-reaches-pluto" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/new-horizons-reaches-pluto#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 09 Jul 2015 14:51:19 +0000 bayweekly_master 28508 at http://www.bayweekly.com Lighting Up the Night Sky http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/lighting-night-sky <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>No need for fireworks here</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>While you&rsquo;re waiting for fireworks in the gathering darkness, impress your friends and family with a quick orientation of the celestial lights popping into view.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/lighting-night-sky" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/final-skies-070415.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="102" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/lighting-night-sky" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/lighting-night-sky#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:05:21 +0000 bayweekly_master 28424 at http://www.bayweekly.com A Tilt for All Seasons http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/tilt-all-seasons <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong><em><strong>Earth&rsquo;s 23.5-degree axis gives us summer, winter and everything between</strong></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>As evening twilight settles Thursday, look to the western horizon for the nascent crescent moon. Above it are Venus and Jupiter. The bright star Regulus is up there, too, forming a line with Venus and Jupiter, each roughly a dozen degrees from the next. Keep an eye on the two planets as they inch closer together over the next two weeks before a spectacular end-of-month conjunction when they are within one-third degree of one another.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/tilt-all-seasons" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/night_sky-061915.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="58" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/tilt-all-seasons" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/tilt-all-seasons#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 18 Jun 2015 16:27:37 +0000 bayweekly_master 28324 at http://www.bayweekly.com Making Up for Temporal Slack http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/making-temporal-slack <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>The sun follows its own clock</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>As darkness falls, first Venus then Jupiter pop into view in the wake of the setting sun. Venus blazes at magnitude &ndash;4.4, exponentially brighter than Jupiter at magnitude &ndash;2, which still outshines any star. The two planets are inching closer on their way to an end-of-month rendezvous. This week the gap between the two shrinks to 10 degrees &mdash; close enough to obscure both with your fist held at arm&rsquo;s length.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/making-temporal-slack" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/skies-061315-b.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="67" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/making-temporal-slack" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/making-temporal-slack#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Sat, 13 Jun 2015 22:48:54 +0000 bayweekly_master 28241 at http://www.bayweekly.com The Heavens' Locks and Crown http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/heavens-locks-and-crown <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Seach the sky for Berenice&rsquo;s hair and Ariadne&rsquo;s crown</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>The moon wanes to last-quarter Tuesday, rising more than a half-hour later each night, providing an increasingly darker backdrop for sky-watching.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;As the evening sky begins to darken, the first lights to appear are the planets Venus and Jupiter high in the west. Then you might notice golden Saturn aglow in the southeast. The next brightest object to appear is Arcturus, almost directly overhead.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/heavens-locks-and-crown" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/night-sky-060615.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="115" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/heavens-locks-and-crown" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/heavens-locks-and-crown#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 04 Jun 2015 15:51:12 +0000 bayweekly_master 28121 at http://www.bayweekly.com The Rose in June’s Full Moon http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/rose-june%E2%80%99s-full-moon <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>Our atmosphere tints summer moons</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>The moon waxes through the weekend, reaching full phase Tuesday, June 2. This time of year the moon follows a low, lazy arc above the southern horizon. At such a low angle to the horizon, before reaching our eyes the moon&rsquo;s light must cut through much more of earth&rsquo;s atmosphere than in winter, when the moon shines high overhead. Gases and trapped moisture within the atmosphere combine to tint the image we see a red, orange or yellow, which explains the names of June&rsquo;s full moon: the Strawberry Moon, the Rose Moon and the Honey Moon.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/rose-june%E2%80%99s-full-moon" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/night-sky-060215.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="63" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/rose-june%E2%80%99s-full-moon" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/rose-june%E2%80%99s-full-moon#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Fri, 29 May 2015 18:50:33 +0000 bayweekly_master 27987 at http://www.bayweekly.com Messenger’s Final Shot at Mercury http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/messenger%E2%80%99s-final-shot-mercury <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>After almost 4,000 days in space, this probe died for science</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>This week Mercury shows its best face in homage to the Messenger spacecraft, which crashed into the planet early morning April 30.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The craft was launched in August 2004 and reached Mercury in March 2011, the first to orbit the innermost planet. Since then it has circled Mercury more than 4,100 times, compiling more data in the process than everything combined before that.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/messenger%E2%80%99s-final-shot-mercury" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/messenger-artist-concept.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="75" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/messenger%E2%80%99s-final-shot-mercury" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/messenger%E2%80%99s-final-shot-mercury#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:24:26 +0000 bayweekly_master 27707 at http://www.bayweekly.com Abuzz with Stars http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/abuzz-stars <div class="field field-type-text field-field-tagline-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em><strong>The moon visits the Beehive Cluster and more</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-article-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="field-label-inline-first"> Article Author:&nbsp;</div> J. Alex Knoll </div> </div> </div> <p>The waxing moon reaches first-quarter phase Saturday, shining below and to the left of Jupiter. The moon is near the center of the constellation Cancer.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-weekly-featured-article"> <div class="field-label">Weekly Featured Article:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-attached-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/abuzz-stars" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser imagecache-linked imagecache-lead-image-teaser_linked"><img src="http://www.bayweekly.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/lead-image-teaser/images/slider-tab-thumbs/beehive-042315.jpg" alt="" title="" width="100" height="70" class="imagecache imagecache-lead-image-teaser"/></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/abuzz-stars" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.bayweekly.com/articles/sky-watch-j-alex-knoll/article/abuzz-stars#comments Sky Watch by J. Alex Knoll Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:06:08 +0000 bayweekly_master 27592 at http://www.bayweekly.com