The Wilderness Above (astronomy)


Great American Eclipse of 2017

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 will be the biggest astronomical event this year. On Aug. 21, the moon will pass directly between the Earth and Sun and cast its shadow onto Earth in a total eclipse of the Sun. Since the sun is a disk and not a point, there ...


Earth approaches closest point to the sun

As the new year dawns, the Summer Triangle plunges toward the western horizon. Cygnus (SIG-nuss), the Swan, wings south along the Milky Way with the geese seeking warmer climes for the winter. For us, the days are slowly starting to lengthen. The latest sunrise was yesterday (7:33 a.m. ...


Look out for Delta Cephei

Northwest of the Demon Star in Perseus of the Dec. 6 column is another variable star to watch, Delta Cephei (SEH-fee). This star is the prototype of the Cepheid (seh-FEE-id) Variable stars that Edwin Hubble used in the 1920s to expand the universe well beyond the bounds of our home ...

FIGURE 1 — The eastern sky as seen from Tupper Lake at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6.
(Made using Starry Night Software)

Look into Medusa’s eye for the Demon Star

As the winter constellations rise in these evenings of late autumn, they are heralded by the Demon Star, Algol in Perseus (PER-see-uss). It has been associated with a demon, al ghul in Arabic (from which our current name is derived) and Gorgon in Greek, for at least 3,200 years, according to an ...


Early darkness allows for more star gazing

Returning our clocks to Standard Time on Saturday night has given us back the gift of early darkness in which we can explore the wilderness above. Though it looks quite still, the celestial objects glittering in our sky are changing and dynamic, with most moving at speeds incomprehensible given ...