The Solar Dynamics Observatory is open for business and man are the first light images amazing!!
Be sure to see the videos which are better-than-HD quality.
The sun will become more and more active as it the 11-year solar cycle swings from the slow and quiet to the loud and wild. You can follow along using some online solar observing tools. SOHO is still my favorite but Big Bear offers some excellent ground based views and the newer STEREO spacecraft has 3-D views and its own iPhone app!
Check em out…
Come out to the Bellaire High School track this Wednesday from 7pm – 9pm for some solar observing and some star gazing!
One my favorite targets for me and for star parties is the optical pair Alcor & Mizar and Mizar is also a binary system itself which is apparent through pretty much any telescope.
In reality each of the stars in the Mizar pair is a binary making the whole telescopic view a total of 6 stars when you include the star that also shows up in the field-of-view.
Recently astronomers at the Palomar observatory were looking for extra-solar planets using near-infrared techniques and discovered that Alcor also is a binary system! That makes a total of 7 stars when you look at that one spot in the Big Dipper. Read more over at SkyandTelescope.com
Here are some tips for viewing the upcoming Geminid meteor shower from Sean Welton from Universe Today
Occurring every year in mid-December, the Geminid meteor shower is commonly referred to as the most reliable meteor shower of the year. That is, it almost always puts on a great show!
The Geminid meteor shower is sure to be a stunning show this year, as the Moon will not be visible at night, so its glow will not impede your meteor viewing ability. In addition, the Geminids’ radiant is favorably positioned for most viewers at this time of year. In order to see the most meteors, I suggest the following tips: