Stargazing

One of the best things about winter in Alaska is the inky black sky away from the city with a dome of stars so deep and bright it gives you a sense of vertigo. For some folks, those amazing starscapes are the best reason to get into the backcountry, or just away from town. The night sky is infinitely interesting, and, like any experience in nature, knowledge only makes the experience deeper. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re going to learn about the stars and watching them as an outdoor Alaskan activity.

Listen now:

O'Malley Peak Star Trails: Canis Minor Rising -- Oct 22, 2014: Canis Minor is the smallest constellation: the white star at the horizon is Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris), the Little Dog Star, and the blue star above that is Gomeisa (Beta Canis Minoris), Arabic meaning "the bleary-eyed (woman)" -- photographed with a Nikon DSLR camera. Copyright 2014 Jane E Gnass.
O’Malley Peak Star Trails: Canis Minor Rising — Oct 22, 2014: Canis Minor is the smallest constellation: the white star at the horizon is Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris), the Little Dog Star, and the blue star above that is Gomeisa (Beta Canis Minoris), Arabic meaning “the bleary-eyed (woman).” Photograph copyright 2014 Jane E Gnass.

HOST: Charles Wohlforth

GUESTS: 

LINKS:

UPCOMING CELESTIAL EVENTS:

  • Ursids Meteor Shower, Dec. 17-25, expected to peak the evening of Dec. 22, more information at SeaSky.org
  • Jupiter at Opposition, Feb. 6, more information at EarthSky.org
  • Solar Eclipse, March 20, watch online at Slooh.com
  • Lunar Eclipse, or the “Blood Moon,” April 4, more information from NASA

BROADCAST: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. AKDT

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Thursday, December 18, 2014, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. AKDT

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Go to OUTDOOREXPLORER.ORG

Audio to be posted following broadcast

_DSC2423_2 Copyright JaneE Gnass UAA Venus Transitting Sun QmP600Tx
UAA: 2012 Transit Of Venus Across The Sun — June 5, 2012, this shows planet Venus passing directly between the Sun and Earth. The next Venus Transit will be in 2117. Taken during a UAA Planetarium event: this is a “prime focus” photograph, in which a Nikon DSLR camera body was attached directly to the optical path of a telescope — the telescope became the lens. This Tasco telescope used a full-aperture solar filter that blocked 99.9% of the sunlight. Photo copyright 2012 Jane E Gnass.