Up in the Air is a column written by Dr. Dan Caton, and published monthly, on the second Monday, in the SciTech section of the Charlotte Observer (and the Raleigh News and Observer), and gives information
on interesting phenomena seen in the sky.
This web site is in support of that column, and will provide additional links and information about the topic discussed this month.
on this month's column as published online 4/9-10/2016 and in print 4/11:
More details on the transit of Mercury on May 9th can be found here.
Details for the viewing session in Raleigh at the Museum of Natural Sciences can be found here.
There will be an observing session at the Dark Sky Observatory, too, near Boone. Details will be posted on the DSO Web Site later this month.
There will be a transit observing event at the Cline Observatory, at Guilford Tech (Jamestown, NC, near Greensboro).
We are still trying to find out about opportunities in Charlotte, and will post those here when we know the details.
The methods of discovering exoplanets can be found here. Details on the Kepler mission are found here.
I have provided below a map of the mid-May sky for about 9:00 pm. Note the Milky Way crossing the evening sky! Of course, the stars appear to move overhead during the night the same way as the sun does during the day–this chart is for about 9 p.m. To use the chart, hold it out in front of you above eye level. Rotate it such that the label for the direction you are facing is down. For example, facing south you want the “South” label at the bottom (as you are seeing it now). The circle represents the horizon, the center of the chart represents the zenith point directly overhead. The CAPITALS are constellation and asterism names. Other names are stars, planets, galaxies or star clusters. The shaded area shows the location of the Milky Way. [Art by B. Novo]
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