Celestial News: Partial Lunar Eclipse Visible Saturday

By Jimmy Westlake, professor of physical science, Alpine Campus As the Earth and Moon perform their perpetual orbital dance, sometimes their shadows are thrown onto each other creating an event called an eclipse.  Our word eclipse is derived from the Greek word ekleipsis, which means “to abandon.” 

Celestial News: June Sky Highlights

By Jimmy Westlake, professor of physical science, Alpine Campus Warm June evenings are perfect for stargazing and the upcoming month offers plenty of celestial events to keep you busy looking up.  Whether you are camping out under the stars or viewing from your back porch, you won’t want to miss these events.

Celestial News: Three Leaps of the Gazelle

By Jimmy Westlake, professor of physical science, Alpine Campus I love star lore.  The legends and stories attached to the stars carry us back centuries or even millennia and tell us not only about the stars, but also about the stargazers of old.

Celestial News: Libra – Misfit of the Zodiac

By Jimmy Westlake, professor of physical science, Alpine Campus In the course of one year, the Sun makes a 360º circuit of the sky, passing through twelve different constellations that form a band around the sky called the zodiac.  Zodiac is a word that literally means “the circle of animals.”  It contains the familiar constellations… Continue reading Celestial News: Libra – Misfit of the Zodiac

Celestial News: Why the Crow Is Black

By Jimmy Westlake, professor of physical science, Alpine Campus Winging his way across our springtime sky is a delightful little constellation named Corvus, the Crow.  The four main stars of Corvus form an unmistakable kite-shaped pattern located one-third of the way up in our southern sky around 10:00 PM in mid-May.  Its distinctive pattern makes… Continue reading Celestial News: Why the Crow Is Black

Celestial News: Centaurus Peeks In

By Jimmy Westlake, professor of physical science, Alpine Campus Centaurs figured heavily in the mythology of the ancient Greeks, so much so that two of them are immortalized in the stars as our constellations of Sagittarius the Archer and Centaurus the Centaur.  The legend of these half man, half horse beasts might have originated when… Continue reading Celestial News: Centaurus Peeks In

Celestial News: The Giant Eyes of Mauna Kea

By Jimmy Westlake, professor of physical science, Alpine Campus There are lots of reasons to visit Hawaii, our 50th state, but “seeing the world’s largest telescopes” is probably not on most folks’ list of things to do.  To an astronomy enthusiast like me, though, the Big Island of Hawaii is astronomy paradise.