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Dan Caton at the DSO 32-inch telescope

Basic Information

Dates of phases of the moon

Telescope recommendations

Up in the Air is a column written by Dr. Dan Caton, and published monthly, on the third 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.

Further information on this month's column as published online 1/17-18 and in print 1/19:\

The International Year of Light 2015's web site can be found here..

The spectrum of the human eye response along with the spectrum of a cool white LED with its huge blue spike on the left (the black curve) is shown below to illustrate the problem (this is from the OpenLuna.org web site):

Spectrum of eye response (green curve) and cool white LED (black)

More information on light pollution can be found at the International Dark-sky Association.


I have provided below a map of the mid-January sky for about 9:00 pm. Note the Milky Way crossing the early evening sky! Of course, the star 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 holding it now). The circle represents the horizon, the center of the chart represents the zenith point directly overhead. The CAPITALS are the constellation names. Other names are stars, planets, galaxies or star clusters. The shaded area shows the location of the Milky Way.

You may email the author at catondb@appstate.edu

January 2015 sky