After a year-long hiatus, I returned to Pine Mountain Observatory as a star guide. It was wonderful to return and meetup with my astronomy friends: Eric, Tom, Alton, and Jim. It was an unusual opening night for the observatory: summer weather, clear skies, and no snow.
It’s not unusual to see this on Memorial Day:
With the summer solstice about to arrive, it takes a long time for it to get dark. Fortunately, Jupiter graces the sky in the evenings this summer, so there’s something to point to early.
A year off didn’t deter me from finding all of my old friends in the sky: M13, M11, Lagoon Nebula, Swan Nebula, Star field, M7, M80, M22, Owl Cluster, Whirlpool Galaxy, Pinwheel Galaxy, Ring Nebula, Dumb bell Nebula, Albireo, etc… Also found the comet Johnson near the constellation Bootes. It’s always an extra thrill to discover something new, especially since I navigate the sky by eye and don’t use any computers.
Saturn made an appearance:
We had a good crowd, and it was fun to hang out with my astronomy friends. This is my 10th year of star guiding. When I started, I knew how to find the North Star, the Big Dipper, and Orion. Orion is a winter constellation, so is of no use when giving star tours in the summers. Now I navigate by stars and charts, finding dozens and dozens of celestial objects to delight our visitors. Many I know by heart. And, I can find a new objects by charts Eric prints out for me (ie, the comet).
After the crowd went home, I gazed upon some galaxies through the big telescope with Alton and Eric. We observed a supernova in a galaxy far, far away. The supernova would have happened a long, long time ago. Maybe it was the demise of the death star. Alton said there is an unusual amount of novas going off in that galaxy. Anything is possible. :)
Here are a few more photos:
Eric informed me I need more photos of the moon for my collection, so I’ll be star guiding again for the full moon. How can I say no when it’s obvious they’ve missed me?
A few other things….
Pew! Pew! Sex, Guns, Spaceships… Oh My! 99c Countdown Deal!
Now a Best Seller!
Pew! Pew! Sex, Guns, Spaceships… Oh My! is on sale for 99c until June 10th. Snap it up! It contains my new story, “Spaceberg.” Spaceberg involves a huge chunk of ice in space, moss balls with teeth, and dancing plastic flowers. What’s better than plastic? Organic plastic!
Get a sample of Spaceberg FREE! (first 5 chapters)
New from Cherie Reich!
The talented Cherie Reich releases a new book! I can’t wait to read it. It’s part of her Fate Challenges series.
Marked (The Fate Challenges #1.5)
Saving the Phoenix Guard has changed him forever.
A blade to the gut gave Liam a one-way ticket to the Underworld, but Phoenix Prophetess Yssa brought him back to life. As the second mortal man to survive a sojourn to Hupogaia’s realm, Liam strives to understand how the one he was tasked to protect saved him, why he lived when so many others died during the battle against the Great Beyonders, and, most of all, why he now sees and hears things that aren’t there.
Liam researches the God of Prophecy’s mortal son, the one who also came back, but Moran died over twenty-four hundred years ago. To say that information is scarce is an understatement, but Liam won’t give up.
After all, rumors are flying around the Kingdom of Amora about Yssa’s newfound powers. Threats loom ever closer. Liam must protect the Phoenix Prophetess at any cost. Uncovering Moran’s destiny may be the one thing that helps Liam save the one he loves, if he can find the right scroll in time.