Here's your Cosmic Pursuits newsletter for November 2022!
1. It was a long and beautiful fall in my part of the
world, with clear skies and beautiful colors lasting well into October. While winter is about to arrive here with a vengeance, I look forward to a good month of stargazing. Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars continue to reveal tantalizing detail to telescopic observers. A lunar eclipse arrives for observers in the Americas and the Pacific. And two
meteor showers arrive this month – at least one possibly quite spectacular - as the Earth passes through the trail of an ancient comet. Here's what to see in the Night Sky This Month.
2. While many avid daytime photographers still enjoy shooting on film with older cameras, most astrophotographers now use a sophisticated
digital camera. But not everyone. Here’s a Q&A with a Maine-based astrophotographer who creates spectacular wide-field images of the Milky Way with a medium-format camera and black and white film, much like the venerable E. E. Barnard did in the early 20th century. Are these images any
good? Read the Q&A here and see for yourself...
3. Mars grows brighter and fatter on its way to opposition next month, its first in more than two years. The next several weeks offer the best time to see the planet. Here’s an in-depth guide to getting the best view of this compelling little world in 2022.
4. You may come to this email to learn what to see, and many pages at Cosmic Pursuits will help you learn how to see it. But sometimes as we consider whether to bring out scopes into the cold darkness instead of watching Netflix, we might think, “Why bother”. Jennifer Willis makes a very
good attempt at an answer to this question in her latest think piece at SkyandTelescope.com.
5. For an academic ‘establishment astronomer’, Harvard’s Avi Loeb sure has a lot of interesting ideas. Here he considers the pure good fortune that has led us all to be alive at this place and time in the
face of great odds in an inhospitable universe. Life is hard work, but luck helps.
6. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) snaps an image of a star in the Orion Nebula with a nascent solar system forming around it. An amazing shot.
And finally, the astronomy quote of the month:
"The contemplation of celestial things will make a man both speak and think more sublimely and magnificently when he descends to human affairs."
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Wishing you clear skies!