Astronomy with a minimum of terminology and technology.
By: LowerCal , 7:22 AM GMT on January 20, 2007
***** May 23 Update
Primarily "Casual Astronomy" will cover a rectangle that has a diagonal from Vancouver, Canada to Trinidad. When practical "Casual Astronomy" will cover other areas of the Northern Hemisphere or the entire globe.
***** January 21 Evening Update
I added a few WU photos at the bottom of this entry. In an effort to keep the blog dialup friendly I'll only be posting a few images on each entry. Here's a link to see all the WU astronomy pictures.
***** Original entry
The purpose of "Casual Astronomy" is to provide a "heads up" and useful guide to impressive yet easy to view sky events like meteor showers, auroras, and naked eye and binocular comets.
It's not for astronomy geeks like me. ;^) There are plenty of websites for us. Those websites strive to be precise and sometimes are too technical and unclear to the casual astronomer. On the other hand stories on astronomical events in the popular media are often simplified to the point of inaccuracy. As a result the casual astronomer is puzzled and disappointed, for example, by looking for meteors before any can actually be seen.
Here are the resources I will use the most:
has the most late breaking news.
has accurate descriptions of what can be expected in the days (and nights) ahead.
NOAA's Space Environment Center monitors auroral activity in real time. When the yellow edge of the oval gets close to your location it's time to check the sky.
(NOTE: This small view does not update.
The enlarged view automatically updates.)
You can use these resources yourself. I'd be happy to answer any questions in comments or by WU mail. Any suggestions to improve the blog are welcome.
To start things off here is a tip for the many excellent WU photographers (and others). Venus and a slender Luna will have a rendevous in the western sky on Saturday evening. 8^o
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Updated: 8:23 AM PDT on May 03, 2015