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Charles Hakes
Position: Fort Lewis College

Playlist for the planets

Greetings stargazers. I have an astronomy music playlist, and know I am not the only one who has one. I was recently reminded of it because I sing with the Durango Choral Society and the th...

Sirius lights up the night

Catadioptric telescopes for Christmas

Greetings, stargazers. I hope you are enjoying the change in weather. My December column has occasionally been used to list some things you might want to put on your astronomical observing w...

The science of exploration through photography

Greetings, stargazers. In 1995 the Hubble science team released the image of the “Pillars of Creation.” This photograph fundamentally changed the way most of us think of astrophotography. ...

Draco takes flight this time of year

Greetings stargazers. There is a dragon in our night sky. Draco is one of the circumpolar constellations that is above the northern horizon year-round, but is especially well-positioned to p...

Rockets and satellites: Some cool, others not so much

Greetings, stargazers. Besides stars, planets, galaxies, and nebulae, there are lots of other interesting things to see in the Durango sky. I am particularly thinking of some of the human-ma...

Dobsonians

Greetings, stargazers. A regular occurrence for me is being asked what kind of telescope someone should buy. My answer is always the same – the best one is the one that will get used the mos...

Looking for globular clusters

Greetings, stargazers. It seems like the only things I have seen in the evening sky recently have been clouds. Although the garden plants are happy with the rain, my dogs are unhappy about t...

Why dark skies are dark

Greetings stargazers. We are fortunate to live in one of the darker corners of the continental United States. Most of you could correctly explain this darkness is because of the absence of a...

Cosmology tackles big subjects

Greetings stargazers. How did we get here? Where are we going? How big and how old is the universe, and what is our place in it? These are some of the big questions that some might argue go ...

Finding Leo’s galaxies

Greetings stargazers. End Daylight Saving Time! There – I got my semiannual rant out of the way and can get back to what are likely more productive musings. Leo is one of the constellations ...

Orion shines in its spot in the sky

Greetings stargazers. We shouldn’t neglect to show appreciation to old friends, and yet it has been many years since I have dedicated a column to perhaps the most recognizable constellation ...