Hal Bidlack

Looking Up: Your Fob Is Fabber

Jul 15, 2019
nasa.gov

If you have no memory of the Apollo lunar missions it's ok. Even the computers back then didn't have much memory as we learn on this week's Looking Up. 

Next Saturday marks the official 50th anniversary of our first Moon landing, Apollo 11.

Looking Up: A Small Step And A Giant Leap...

Jul 1, 2019
NASA / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal and Bruce begin a month long salute to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.

This July 20th will mark fifty years since Neil Armstrong took his famous first step on to the surface of the Moon. In honor of that remarkable achievement, all this month Bruce and I are going to focus on topics related to the Moon and our visits there.

Helio C. Vital / earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up Hal cues us in on a sweet M&M connection in the evening sky.

If you have a flat horizon to the west, not necessarily an easy thing to find in Southern Colorado, I urge you to take a look tonight just after sunset, and for the next few nights, to see a beautiful cosmic dance of two planets, Mars and Mercury.

Looking Up: Making The Most Of Opportunity

Jun 10, 2019
NASA/JPL-Caltech / nasa.gov

Opportunity is dead. Long live Opportunity!

Today, June 10th, is a somewhat sad yet very satisfying anniversary. You see it was a year ago today that the good folks at NASA were last able to talk to a plucky little robot named Opportunity on the surface of Mars.

Looking Up: All Aboard The Polar Express

Jun 3, 2019
NASA/JPL-Caltech / nasa.gov

After a winter retreat, the king of the planets, at least in this solar system, is back in our night sky. Hal tells us more on this week's episode of Looking Up...

Alright, I admit it – sometimes I get a wee bit technical and detailed in these shows, and so this week I want to answer the question many of you may have in mind right now – what the heck is that really bright star in the southeast sky?

Looking Up: Small Galaxy - It's What's For Dinner

May 13, 2019
Roberto Colombari / nasa.gov

Perhaps all that 'core training' Omega Centauri did in the past really paid off. It may very well be all that's left of a small galaxy that collided with the Milky Way a long, long time ago. That's the story Hal has for us on this week's Looking Up.

Today I’m going to tell you about a wonderful object in the southern Colorado sky, the amazing Omega Centauri! It isn’t easy to find, and you will have to have a very flat southern horizon to spot this elusive object.

Looking Up: "And That's The Way It Is"

May 6, 2019
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal heralds the arrival of spring with a tale of a ghostly object.

I love the arrival of Spring, with warmer days and nights. But there is one object in the Colorado Spring sky that might fit, at least poetically, in the October sky, the wonderful and beautiful object, the Ghost of Jupiter.

Looking Up: Borrow Some Barium?

Apr 29, 2019
public domain / wikimedia.org

In a continuation from last week's episode of Looking Up, we learn more about the constellation Corvus the Crow. This week Hal spotlights another star in that constellation - Kraz - which seems to be a star that's down on its barium essentials.

Some things in our Colorado night sky are fun because we know a lot about them. But there are far more items up in that sky that we really don’t know too much about, yet.

Looking Up: Brother Can You Spare Some Nickel?

Apr 22, 2019
Sidney Hall [Public domain]; Restoration by Adam Cuerden / wikimedia commons

This week, and next on Looking Up, Hal Spends some time on a couple of stars in the Spring / Summer constellation Corvus the Crow.

The top star, so to speak, in Corvus is Gienah, at the top of the roughly diamond-shaped constellation. What does the name mean? Well, some say it means “right wing of the crow,” but it shows up as the left wing in some charts. So, we don’t really know.

Looking Up: And The Lyrids Bright Glare...

Apr 15, 2019
NASA/Don Pettit / http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/watchtheskies/lyrids1.html

This week on Looking Up Hal talks about April showers of a different sort - the Lyrid meteor shower.

If you are an early riser, or a stay-up-all-nighter, the pre-dawn hours of April 22nd have a special show ready for you – the annual Lyrid meteor shower.

Looking Up: Foolproof

Apr 1, 2019
public domain / wikimedia commons

A new month is upon us, and Hal, our stellar court jester, makes a valiant attempt at a little bit of astronomical humor on this edition of Looking Up.

Winter is slowly slipping away, and so I’d like talk with you about one star soon to disappear in the west, the winter star Aludra, in the constellation of Canis Major, the big dog.

Looking Up: On Its Last Dogleg

Mar 18, 2019
constellation photo by unknown author licensed under creative commons; additional 'struggling star' artwork created by A.R. Procell / CC BY-SA-NC

This week on Looking Up we learn about a distant star that sure could use a leg up on finding another supply of hydrogen for its core.

If you have been thinking that these Looking Up segments are increasingly going to the dogs, I must agree, at least about today, because I want to tell you about a neat star in the constellation Canis Major, or the big dog, that follows Orion the Hunter across the Colorado night sky right now. The special star is Mirzam, the right front leg of the big dog, below and to the right of the brightest star in the sky, Sirius.

Looking Up: This Star Is Linkedin

Mar 11, 2019
Image Credit & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (Deep Sky Colors) / nasa.gov

On this week's episode of Looking Up we hear about two familiar constellations and what they have in common.

We’ve talked before about most everyone’s favorite winter constellation, Orion the Hunter. We’ve also talked about Taurus the Bull, who is the target of Orion’s hunt. And today, I want to talk with you about a cool star in Taurus that is visible in the Colorado night sky right now.

NASA/JPL-Caltech / nasa.gov

Good news/bad news on this week's episode of  Looking Up. Now you can check the weather before your trip to Mars, but you probably won't like it. 

We are, or at least I hope we are, nearing the end of a long and cold winter. I for one do not like cold temps, but I do like what a great job the national weather service does in keeping us up to date on the weather forecast. Today I want to tell you about a very different weather prediction site that is available to you, over at nasa.gov.

Looking Up: Fuelish Behavior

Feb 25, 2019
Wellentheorie blog (https://wellentheorie.wordpress.com/) / Creative Commons Attribution – NonCommercial 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Sirius may be the 'big dog' in the constellation Canis Major but Wezen can throw its 'weight' around, too, as we learn on this week's Looking Up.

Today I want to tell you about a very interesting star in the Colorado night sky right now, but be sure to lift with your knees when you look at the star Wezen. The name means, well, literally weight. Wezen is the third brightest star in the constellation of Canis Major, the big dog.

Looking Up: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Feb 18, 2019
M. Procell

Hal is 'over the moon' in bringing us this week's episode of Looking Up.

One object I never tire of is our old, dependable Moon. I really love the Moon, and I love to explore the mountains, ridges, and craters through my telescopes.

Looking Up: Or Not?

Feb 11, 2019
yves_guillou / Creative Commons Open Clipart

Hal Bidlack takes a measured approach to the constellation Sextan in this week's episode of Looking Up.

As this month’s shows mark four years since I first started making Looking Up episodes, I thought today I’d so something a bit different than I have been the last 200 plus episodes.

Looking Up: Is It Better To Burn Out Or Fade Away?

Jan 14, 2019
Derrick Lim / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal spotlights Bellatrix, one of his favorite stars in the constellation Orion.

The mighty constellation of Orion dominates Colorado’s winter sky, and it’s a wonderful area of the sky to observe with a telescope, binoculars, or just naked eye.

Looking Up: New Horizons For A New Year

Dec 31, 2018
NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI / nasa.gov

On this New Year's Eve edition of Looking Up Hal makes sure we don't forget an old acquaintance - the New Horizons spacecraft.

With New Years Day tomorrow, many of us will be thinking about the coming year and wondering about the new horizons we will see. But before we talk about new horizons, I’d like to talk about a very cool thing that is happening tomorrow with the old New Horizons.

Looking Up: A North Star By Any Other Name...

Dec 24, 2018
By Anonymous. Originally uploaded by Dan Gerhards / Creative Commons Open Clipart

This week on Looking Up we learn that even an old workhorse star like Polaris needs a little time off now and then. We also learn which star will be filling in for Polaris as the "north star". 

Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered which of those thousands upon thousands of visual stars might have planets going around them?

Looking Up: Wazn This Nice?

Dec 17, 2018
worker / Creative Commons Open Clipart

This week on Looking Up Hal passes along a 'speedy' season's greeting of peace and love. 

Well, it’s the season of peace and love, so let’s talk about a very interesting star, Wazn, in the constellation of Columba the Dove. Didn’t know there was a dove up in the sky? No worries, most folks don’t. There is also a telescope and a microscope, but those are for another episode.

Looking Up: Right Where You Belong

Dec 10, 2018
Sidney Hall. Restoration by Adam Cuerden / Wikimedia Commons

This week on Looking Up Hal invites us to 'check out' a star by the name of Sheratan, conveniently located in the Colorado night sky near you.

If you are ever wondering where to spend a night looking at the Colorado night sky, may I suggest stopping by the Sheratan? And by Sheratan, I mean the very cool star Sheratan, high in our night sky right now.

Looking Up: A Celestial Trifecta

Dec 3, 2018
NASA/JPL-Caltech / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal points out two planets and a star hanging relatively close together in the early December night sky.

If you take a look to the west after dark, you will likely notice the bright red planet Mars gleaming in the Colorado night sky. But on either side of Mars you can see, two other cool things, although you’ll need a telescope to see one of them.

Looking Up: The Universe... Big, Isn't It?

Nov 19, 2018
Marshall McCall/York University / earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up, Tammy Terwelp, the General Manager of 91.5 KRCC, is the guest host. She gives us an idea of just how big the universe is.

We’ve been airing the weekly Looking Up show for just under 4 years now, and during that time, listeners have heard Hal talk about lots of different and amazing things in the Colorado sky. We’ve learned about planets, galaxies, comets, stars, and more. But one thing I’ve wondered about is just how much stuff is out there? In other words, how big is big?

Looking Up: So Close, So Far

Nov 12, 2018
earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up Hal speaks of night sky wonders both near and far. 

There are lots and lots of amazing and wonderful things in the Colorado night sky. Some make you say “wow” because of how beautiful they are and others because of the wonder of what you are actually seeing. And if you are an early riser this Wednesday, November 14th, you get to see something that is both – a pair of bright and beautiful objects very close to each other.

Looking Up: Khan-Gratulations Are In Order...

Nov 5, 2018
X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI / nasa.gov

To the star Menkar, which, as we learn on this week's episode of Looking Up, is well on its way to becoming a planetary nebula.

With the end of daylight savings time, the nights come early to southern Colorado. And while that make it tough to get a round of golf in after work, it makes it easier to look up at the many cool things in the Colorado night sky. And one of the coolest, literally, is the very interesting star Menkar.

Looking Up: Can You Hear Me Now?

Oct 29, 2018
E. Kolmhofer, H. Raab; Johannes-Kepler-Observatory, Linz, Austria (http://www.sternwarte.at) / wikipedia

This week on Looking Up Bruce Bookout inspires us with comet 'tales' from various cultures.

Comets are very remarkable objects in the night sky. Most celestial bodies travel across the skies at regular, predictable intervals; comets' movements have always seemed very erratic and unpredictable. Ancient people in many cultures believed that the gods dictated their motions and were sending them as a message.

Looking Up: From Dusk To Dawn

Oct 22, 2018
NASA/Erich Karkoschka (Univ. Arizona) / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal gives us the low down on a planet that will be up all night long. 

Regular listeners of Looking Up will recall that I really like the planet Uranus. Uranus is cool in many ways – it’s the first planet discovered in modern times, as it is too dim for ancient folks to properly map it. It also is tipped way over on its axis, with a single year lasting 84 Earth years, Uranus has 42 years when only the northern hemisphere gets sunlight, followed by 42 years with only the south getting some sun. So, you want to plan your Uranus vacations carefully.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / MPS / DLR/ IDA / PSI / nasa.gov

This week Hal takes a "vested" interest in space rocks of all kinds.

Have you ever touched a rock that was not of this Earth? If you visited the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, you may well have stood in line to touch the moon rock they have on display in the great hall. But other than that, have you touched a moon rock? A rock from Mars? Or even an asteroid?

Well, maybe.

Looking Up: 'B' Is For Brightest

Oct 1, 2018
Till Credner - AlltheSky.com / Wikimedia Commons

The alpha star is not always the brightest star in a constellation, as we learn on this week's Looking Up.

I want to tell you about a very strange star known formally as Beta Ceti, and less formally as Diphda.

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