SKYWATCH: ANCIENT ASTRONOMY, CHAMBLISS AWARD, AND MORE

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Zachariel / Wikimedia Commons

Bulletin at a Glance

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Ancient Astronomers Were No Fools

January 25, 2012                                                                | A study of historical star catalogs has turned up a surprising result: long-gone stargazers knew that the stellar magnitudes they observed needed correcting — but the correction is for an atmospheric effect scientists didn’t quantify until the 1700s. > read more

Tim Puckett’s Award-Winning Ambition

January 26, 2012                                                                | Tim Puckett has been studying comets and finding supernovae with his home-built telescope in the mountains of northern Georgia since the 1990s. Now the American Astronomical Society has recognized his dedication with the 2012 Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award. > read more

Opportunity Takes a Bow, Gets Some Rest

January 25, 2012                                                                | It’s been eight years since NASA dropped twin rovers onto the Martian surface. Spirit succumbed to the planet’s harsh conditions in 2010, but Opportunity continues to amaze mission scientists with its longevity and scientific productivity. > read more

Time Committee Procrastinates

January 27, 2012                                                                | An international committee formed to settle the protocol for civilian time once and for all recently announced an important decision — they’re going to put off the decision for another three years. > read more

Sky & Telescope March 2012

January 17, 2012                                                                | Sky & Telescope‘s March 2012 issue is now available to digital subscribers. > read more

Observing

Asteroid 433 Eros

NASA / JPL / JHU-APL

A Rare Flyby of Asteroid Eros

January 13, 2012                                                                | The grandaddy of near-Earth asteroids brightens to magnitude 8.6 as it flies by Earth in late January and early February. > read more

Jupiter: Big, Bright, and Beautiful

September 23, 2011                                                                | The “King of Planets,” which will dominate the evening sky from late 2011 through early 2012, is a captivating sight no matter how you look at it. > read more

New Supernova in Leo

January 9, 2012                                                                | Along with the usual galaxies, dark matter, and exoplanets, the American Astronomical Society’s January meeting is abuzz with the discovery of a supernova by a team of amateurs. Astronomers are rushing to observe the explosion before it fades. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

Early evening view

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

January 27, 2012                                                                  | Venus blazes high at dusk. The bright Moon passes Jupiter, then shines over Orion. And Mars and Saturn rise ever earlier in the night. > read more

Community

Norman Edmund

Edmund Optics

Norman Edmund, Optics Entrepreneur

January 24, 2012                                                                | His company got its start with the military surplus  optics that flooded the marketplace right after World War II. Ever since,  Edmund Scientific (now Edmund Optics) has inspired generations of budding astronomers. > read more

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