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Charles Hakes
Position: Fort Lewis College

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 ...

Comets: Solar system’s tasty leftovers

Greetings, stargazers. Just as when cooking a large meal you often end up with some delicious leftovers, the leftovers from the formation of our solar system are some of the most interesting...

Meaning of nebula remains ‘fuzzy’

Greetings stargazers. Many scientific terms are very specific, but the term nebula is, well, nebulous. In a very generic sense, it simply means a fuzzy thing. But there are a wide variety of...

Keep an eye out for Perseus

Greetings, stargazers. It feels great to be back on standard time and not have to leave the house before sunrise. I know some of you are not liking the early evening darkness, but I hope Co...

Andromeda visible in northeastern sky

Greetings stargazers. Andromeda is one of the 88 modern constellations that was likely known and named long before it appeared on Ptolemy’s list in the second century CE. But my experience ...

The difference between a tropical year and a sidereal year

Greetings, stargazers. The autumnal equinox this year is at 7:03 p.m. Sept. 22. We typically think of the first day of fall as something that happens all day long, but the equinox is the tim...

Camera filters are useful tools for astronomers

Greetings, stargazers. I was pleased when the telescope on the roof of Sitter Family Hall showed up in a front-page story July 30. As with many such projects, there are a steady stream of up...

Don’t overlook Ophiuchus – the 13th sign of the zodiac

Greetings, stargazers. I am really happy with the recent rain and will gladly trade a few good observing nights for a reduced fire danger. Please ignore me if I try to predict the weather, b...

Summer Milky Way an impressive sight

Greetings, stargazers. June is the month with the fewest nighttime stargazing hours. Not only are there more daylight hours, but the twilight hours are extra-long at this time of year, too. ...

Spring dust makes stars look redder

Greetings, stargazers. Visitors to the Four Corners are often blown away by our outstanding skies. This month I have been blown away too, but that has been from the all-too-often red flag co...

The far-reaching effects of light, day and night

Greetings, stargazers. I rarely get such a quick response to my monthly column. Two days after it came out last month, a group of politicians voted without discussion or opposition to instit...