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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 10/18-19 and in print 10/20:\

The protest against the TMT ceremony is discussed in an ABC release here and in The Hawaii Tribune herald here.

The TMT telescope project is found here.

The Gemini Telescope is described here.

The Giant Magellan Telescope project is found here.

The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, where large mirrors are spun into shape, is found here.

Kitt Peak National Observatory is described online here. The closing and reassigning control of their telescopes has been summarized here.

The facilities of the Mount Graham Observatory are found described here. The tracking of the status of the red squirrel is found at this web page at the University of Arizona.

The current and planned enormous telescopes are nicely summarized in this New York Times article.

I have provided below a map of the mid-October 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 9-10 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. The Andromeda Galaxy, “M31,” is visible to the dye as a fuzzy patch in a dark, clear sky. The chart below it is for the Orionid meteors.

You may email the author at catondb@appstate.edu

October 2014 sky

Below is a map of the sky much later, about 1am, looking East toward the radiant of the Orionid meteor shower, which peaks October 20-22 this year:

Orionids chart