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Southwest Life

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...

Now is the time to attempt a Messier Marathon

Greetings, stargazers. This is a milestone column for me, as it is the 10th anniversary of my first What’s Up in Durango Skies. I always try to come up with some new astronomical topic to di...

The glowing clouds of the Orion Nebula

Greetings, stargazers. Last night a star exploded. Probably not very close to us, but it is safe to say that somewhere in the universe a supernova went off and flung most of its mass back ou...

Webb telescope will see what our eyes can’t

Greetings, stargazers. The Christmas morning launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, with the “trois, deux, un” countdown in French was fun to watch. Unlike Space Shuttle launches, which i...

The year’s longest day is coming

Greetings, stargazers. As strange as it may sound, we are approaching the longest day of the year this month. At least we are if we consider a day to be the time between one local noon and t...

Constellations small and dim, but a joy to find

Greetings, stargazers. There are 88 keys on a piano, but I have yet to find a connection between that number and the fact there are also 88 constellations in the sky. Except, perhaps, that s...

The birds flying among the stars of the night sky

Greetings, stargazers. Aquila, the Eagle, may not be the most well-known, or most recognizable constellation, but it is straightforward to find, and is worth adding to your repertoire. It i...

Webb telescope to look at universe’s most distant objects

Greetings, stargazers. Light from distant stars travels for years in a perfectly straight line to get to Earth, only to be jiggled around and dispersed by the atmosphere in the last few kilo...

Mounts matter for successful telescope viewing

Greetings, stargazers. I don’t know who said it first, but it bears repeating that the best telescope is the one that gets used the most. Many of you are familiar with different types of tel...