• Clear Sky Chart
  • The handy "Clear Sky Chart" below is a much better indicator of the weather and how clear the sky will be for astronomical observing than many local weather reports.  That's because weathermen will call the sky clear even when it is very humid so that the transparency will be poor.  Weather reports usually don't say how dark the sky will be, either.

    Looking for a local astronomy club?
    Try the Syracuse Astronomical Society (SAS)


    Join the SAS

    To the right is a link to the Syracuse Astronomical Society.  This is a local group that can give you all the 411 on watching the sky in the Syracuse area.  They are a group of very friendly people who love to watch the sky and the yearly family membership dues are quite reasonable.

    Astrophotography

    Most of us set our computer brightness to full.  I am in the process of rebalancing the brightness for all my pictures to a standard value of about half the maximum brightness.  If some pictures seem way too bright, just dial back your screen brightness to half and they should be great.

    1 February 2019 conjunction of Jupiter, Venus, and the moon

    From left to right, a very crescent moon aligns with Venus and Jupiter on the morning of 1 February, 2019.  This picture is taken from the street near my house.

    21 August 2017 Solar Eclipse from Marshall, Missouri

    The previous coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in the USA occurred on 8 June, 1918.  The last total eclipse seen anywhere in mainland USA occurred on 26 February, 1979.  Of course, there was that annular eclipse that passed through downtown Syracuse, NY on 10 May, 1994.  So, are you going to tell me that you missed the great solar eclipse of 2017?

    The thumbnail pictures below were taken by my wife and I from Marshall, Missouri during the total solar eclipse on 21 August, 2017.

    2012 Transit of Venus

    Did you see the Venus transit on Tuesday, June 5th, 2012.  Several of us were at Margie Hughto's (6970 Henderson Road in Jamesville, NY).  We had the school's 5" Maksutov with a solar filter.  (Never look directly at the sun without a proper filter!)  Tony Potter and I timed first contact at 18:05:00 EDT (22:05 UT).  Twelve other people joined us over the course of the next hour and a half.  Almost everyone agreed it was way cool.  I kept trying to point out that Venus is actually quite warm (about 865°F, in fact) and only appears cool because it was right in front of an even hotter sun.  Everyone persisted in saying it was really cool every time they looked.  Maybe I should have converted to the Rankine temperature scale?

    The thumbnail pictures you see below were taken by Tom Parks.  He held his digital camera right up to the Sirius 25 mm eyepeice on an Orion 127 mm SkyView Pro 5" Maksutov telescope.  You can see the the right hand picture shows clouds passing through our view.