"Pillaging the Universe One Star at a Time"

 

The 2014 Bootleg Star Party was a Huge Success!!  

Watch for the pictures from the 2014 Bootleg Star Party -- Coming Soon.... 

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Upcoming Observing Highlights for July 2014   (from skymaps.com)
 
1 Venus 4.1 N of Aldebaran (30 from Sun, morning sky) at 19h UT. Mags. -3.9 and +0.9.
1 Moon near Regulus (evening sky) at 22h UT.
4 Earth at Aphelion (farthest from Sun) at 0h UT. The Sun-Earth distance is 1.016682 a.u. or about 152.1 million km.
Earth at Aphelion (SpaceWeather.com)
Photographic Size Comparison (Anthony Ayiomamitis)
5 First Quarter Moon at 12:00 UT.
6 Moon very near Mars (evening sky) at 1h UT. Mag. +0.1. Occultation visible from northern South America and southern Central America.
Occultation of Mars (IOTA)
6 Moon near Spica (evening sky) at 6h UT.
6 Moon, Mars and Spica within circle diameter 3.8 (evening sky) at 8h UT. Mags. +0.1 and +1.0.
8 Moon very near Saturn (evening sky) at 2h UT. Mag. +0.4. Occultation visible from southern South America.
Occultation of Saturn (IOTA)
9 Moon near Antares (evening sky) at 18h UT.
12 Full Moon at 11:26 UT.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
12 Mercury at greatest elongation, 21 west of Sun (morning sky) at 18h UT. Mag +0.5.
13 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 8h UT (358,260 km; angular size 33.4').
14 Mars 1.3 NNE of Spica (92 from Sun, evening sky) at 4h UT. Mags. +0.2 and +1.0.
16 Mercury 6.2 ESE of Venus (20 and 26 from Sun, morning sky) at 19h UT. Mags. -0.1 and -3.9.
19 Last Quarter Moon at 2:09 UT.
21 Moon near the Pleiades (morning sky) at 16h UT.
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
22 Moon near Aldebaran (morning sky) at 12h UT.
24 Moon near Venus (24 from Sun, morning sky) at 17h UT. Mag. -3.9.
24 Jupiter at conjunction with the Sun at 21h UT. Passes into the morning sky (not visible).
26 New Moon at 22:42 UT. Start of lunation 1133.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
28 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 3h UT (distance 406,567 km; angular size 29.4').
29 Moon near Regulus (evening sky) at 4h UT.
>>> All times Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)

 

Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)