Today is Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018

NAKED EYE
A long look into the night sky

A long look into the night sky

By David Ward   They say that on a clear day you can see forever, but on a clear night you can see even farther. Have you ever wondered how far you can see when you look up at the stars at night? It is almost impossible for us to comprehend the vast distances that...
It’s getting darker, go outside!

It’s getting darker, go outside!

By David Ward Does it seem like the days are getting shorter and shorter at an almost alarming rate? If so, you are not just imagining things. Right around the fall equinox, the length of daylight lessens faster that at any other time of year. On Sept. 22 the apparent motion of the sun in...
The news about neutrinos

The news about neutrinos

By David Ward The universe sounds like a pretty scary place. Galaxies are colliding, stars are exploding and black holes are sucking up stars and planets like giant cosmic vacuum cleaners. All that stuff is far, far away, light years away, right? Here on Earth you are safe. The cosmos cannot touch you here. All...
Cruising along in a quiet corner of the galaxy

Cruising along in a quiet corner of the galaxy

By David Ward It has been called the Backbone of the Night. The Cherokee Indians thought it was cornmeal strewn across the sky by a giant dog. The Greeks believed it to be spilled breast milk from a divine goddess. The philosopher Aristotle insisted it was “the ignition of the fiery exhalation of stars in...
Once-in-a-lifetime event will eclipse any other experience

Once-in-a-lifetime event will eclipse any other experience

By David Ward Less than two months from now we get to experience the event of a lifetime, a chance to stand under the shadow of the moon. It has been 38 years since a total eclipse of the sun has visited the continental United States. Here in the Methow Valley, most of the sun...
The stars — and planets — are not really aligned

The stars — and planets — are not really aligned

By David Ward If you can stay up late enough until it gets dark, and if you dare to brave the swarms of mosquitoes, there are things to see, as always, up in the night sky. The most obvious is the planet Jupiter. Look for it high in the southwest just as it is getting...
Saturn claims the starring role in parade of planets

Saturn claims the starring role in parade of planets

By David Ward As soon as it gets dark, go out and look to the east for a really bright object up there in the sky. If it is moving, it is probably the International Space Station or an airplane. If it is not, congratulations, you have found Jupiter. To make sure, check and see...
Spring brings a new view of the heavens

Spring brings a new view of the heavens

By David Ward   As soon as it gets dark on an early March evening, go outside and look up into the south. There you will find the great hunter Orion standing proud and upright in the evening sky. He is easily recognized by his belt — three stars in a row and two bright stars, one...
It’s a Sirius time to stargaze

It’s a Sirius time to stargaze

By David Ward I am going to give you something easy this month. See if you can find the brightest star in the sky. How hard could that be? If that sounds too difficult, however, then stay inside and spend the rest of the winter watching TV. If you are game, go out early in...
Look for Orion striding across the winter sky

Look for Orion striding across the winter sky

By David Ward The giant is back. That big old guy who hangs out with us in the winter is raising himself above the horizon. Look for him low in the southeast just after it gets dark. He is lying down then, but later in the night he will be in all his glory standing...