Looking Up

Looking Up: Dolphin Dreams

Sep 16, 2019
Jimmy Westlake (Colorado Mountain College) / nasa.gov

On Looking Up this week we hear about a diamond encrusted dolphin visible in the late summer skies above Colorado.

Quite often on these broadcasts, I talk about things that are really big. Heck, the universe is pretty large, so it makes sense that lots of big and cool things are out there. But today I want to talk with you about one of the tiniest of the constellations, Delphinus the Dolphin.

Looking Up: A Not So Tiny Dancer

Sep 9, 2019
NASA, ESA and J. Olmsted (STScI) / nasa.gov

Tonight's the night for a tiny dot of light to dance across the sky in full opposition of the sun, as we learn on Looking Up.

Tonight is a special night for a tiny dot of light, and today’s episode could be titled “far out,” because the dot of light I want to tell you about is the magnificent planet Neptune.

Looking Up: Star Hunt

Sep 2, 2019
Online Star Register / https://osr.org/blog/astronomy/alpha-gruis/

This week on Looking Up Hal takes us on a star safari to search for possibly the southern most star visible from the Colorado sky.

Do you feel like going on a bit of a star hunt? If so, pay attention as I tell you about the elusive star Al Nair, currently low in the SW sky.

Looking Up: That's Nice, But Now Back To Me...

Aug 26, 2019
Original image by Niko Lang / wikimedia commons

This week on Looking Up we learn how a world view did change. The only destruction talked about is that of Ptolomy's geocentric system. Count yourself in...

Ever consider yourself central to a discussion? We humans for many centuries considered ourselves the center of the discussion, literally the center of everything.  As a model for the cosmos we called that geo-centralism – the placement of the earth in the middle of it all. 

Looking Up: The Young And The Restless

Aug 19, 2019
Restoration by Adam Cuerden / U.S. Public Domain

This week on Looking Up we learn about a lonely star passing through our galaxy.

I’m going to talk extra fast today to tell you about an extra-fast star in the Colorado sky right now, Gamma Piscium, the second brightest star in Pisces the fish.

Expedition 28 crew - ISS / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up Hal reminds us it's time once again for the Perseid meteor shower.

It’s time to revisit one of the best meteor showers of the year, the Perseids. Every mid-August the debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle gets smacked into by the Earth as we orbit the Sun.

Looking Up: Too Hot To Handle?

Aug 5, 2019
public domain

This week on Looking Up Hal zooms in on a star by the name of Nunki. 

There is a fun star in the Colorado sky right now that is pretty neat, the star Nunki, known technically as Sigma Sagitarii. It makes up part of the “teapot’s handle” in Sagittarius and is located below and to the right of the much brighter Saturn.

NASA/JPL / nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we wrap up our month long series on the moon and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions.

If I asked you to guess where you can take a walk and know that your footprints will last a million years or more, what would you guess?

nasa.gov

This week on Looking Up we learn a bit about the missions that followed Apollo 11.

We’ve talked a great deal about the Apollo 11 moon landing this month, which is appropriate, given that the 50th anniversary of the landing was just a couple of days ago. But there were 6 more Apollo missions, and they tend to be forgotten by the public.

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.

The Music Of Our Spheres

Jul 11, 2019

What does Space sound like? As an astronomer, I could tell you about interplanetary gas, magnetic fields and the physics of waves propagating through them both. But that's really not the answer that matters as we cross the 50-year threshold of an epoch-making walk on the Moon. This month marks an anniversary that asks us to reflect on the profound impact the Apollo mission left on human culture.

public domain / wikimedia.org / creative commons

This week on Looking Up our month long tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions continues with Bruce providing insight on how the program came to be named.

In July 1960 NASA was preparing to implement its long-range plan beyond Project Mercury and to introduce a manned circumlunar mission project, unnamed at that time, at the NASA/Industry Program Plans Conference in Washington DC.

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.

Looking Up: A Celestial Object By Any Other Name...

Jun 24, 2019
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) / nasa.gov

Would any given astronomical object still look as cool if it had a different name? Bruce Bookout delves into that very subject on this week's Looking Up.

I was once asked at a local star party; how do we know the names of things in the sky?  The answer is simple – someone named it. 

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: South Side Of The Sky

May 20, 2019
B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF) / earthsky.org

This week on Looking Up we're bound for a star that's 50 light years from home.

Deep in our southern skies, in the constellation Centarus lies a dead star 50 light-years away from the Earth. V886 Centauri is at first glance an ordinary white dwarf. But it is more than it appears.

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: Crossing The Universe

Apr 8, 2019
public domain / wikipedia.org

Bruce Bookout has been some days in preperation for this week's episode of Looking Up...

Our springtime brings to view a northern-sky asterism many amateur astronomers call the Kite. An asterism is a recognizable pattern of stars that’s not one of the “official” 88 constellations. The Big Dipper is an asterism. So is the Northern Cross. The Kite is actually the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman.

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: Royal Road

Mar 25, 2019
pixabay.com

Bruce Bookout carries the weight of this week's episode of Looking Up in which four majestic stars come together for something special. Why? Because we want you to know how ancient cultures viewed the night sky.

Around 3000 BCE, the Persians looked at the sky saw kingliness.  They had four stars they considered “Royal Stars”; Aldebaran, Antares, Fomalhaut and Regulus. 

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.

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