What we lose if Fremont Peak Observatory closes:

In a blog post back in May the Frog Mom in California posted about visiting Fremont Peak State Park,  and visiting the observatory:

When we admired Saturn through the telescope, I was dumbfounded. I had never really seen Saturn before I guess. It was so perfectly round and so black-and-white bright that it looked, as my friend Sue put it, “like a sticker on the lens.” A postcard perfect Saturn.

All I can say is get back up here on one of the next two weekends (August 22 or August 29) because after Labor Day the observatory may not be there anymore.


Don’t Forget your Binoculars

Newcomers to astronomy are often shocked when amateur astronomers (including me) tell them that there first telescope should be a pair of binoculars.   I’ve covered this topic before, and so have other astronomy bloggers.

There are many reasons for this: Binoculars are more versatile than a telescope, you can use them for more purposes.  Most amateur astronomers bring binoculars with them on observing sessions anyway.  Binoculars help you to find the objects you are looking for.  Binoculars are less expensive than telescopes (unless you’re buying a department store piece of junk).

Today’s episode of 365 Days of Astronomy fits right in with this advice.  British author/broadcaster Robin Scagell looks at the pros and cons of binocular observing, and gives us some tips on getting the most out of our observing sessions with binoculars.  So head on over and give a listen to  Don’t Forget your Binoculars.

Oh, and don’t forget your free planisphere and star atlas, your list of binocular objects, and your list of binocular Messier objects!

… And we’re back.

The two Yahoo! Answers posts deleted over the weekend have been restored.  So far the score is: 2012hoaxers – 0, AstroGeek – 5.

Once again, my 2012 page gets more publicity, the hoaxers lose more credibility (if that’s even possible), and perhaps another sockpuppet account, and I once again resolve to seek out every 2012 / Nibiru / Planet X question on Yahoo! Answers and post a reply to it.

Keep it up guys.  I don’t know about you, but I’m enjoying beating the snot out of you.