Jeff's Driveway Astronomy Page

                                                                                                                                                      

Hi there, my name is Jeff, and welcome to my 
"Driveway Astronomy Page"

Godspeed Chuck Crumley and John Jones!!

 

 

One of my hobbies is amateur astronomy.  I am a member of the Chicago Astronomical Society and a member of the Fox Valley Astronomical Society.    You can usually find me at these two club's Public Observing Sessions with one of my telescopes, showing the public some of the wonderful objects in the night sky!!    If you live in the Chicagoland Area and are interested in astronomy, visit the web sites of both of these clubs and plan to attend one or more of their Public Observing Sessions.   (They're usually free and you don't need to own a telescope to attend!)
 
See below for a list of the upcoming Public Observing Sessions and more great astronomy information!
 
I also participate in the SWAOG  (South West Astronomy Observers Group)'s weekly Amateur Radio Astronomy Net and observing events.
Ham Radio & Scanner Operators:  Listen and check in to the Southwest Astronomy Observers Group Ham Radio Information Net on Thursday evenings at 8:30 PM on the DARC Repeater (145.430 MHz. / -600 KHz. / 107.2 Hz. PL) and tell them that you heard about the net here! (Scanner operators can check in via e-mail)
 
 
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Upcoming Public Observing Sessions:
Public Observing Sessions or 'Public Star Parties' are events where various Astronomy Club members set up their telescopes for the public to look through.   You'll see several different types & designs of telescopes, and some of the nicer objects in the night sky at these events.   If you would like to learn more about astronomy,  plan on attending as many of these sessions as you can . . . especially if you're thinking about purchasing a telescope!!
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Upcoming Fox Valley Astronomical Society Public Star Parties are listed HERE
4038 Kaneville Rd., Geneva, IL (free - sponsored by the Fox Valley Astronomical Society  click for info & directions)
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Friday, May 17 & Friday, September 13th, 2024 at - Heritage Park in Homer Glen - 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM Observing    
14240 W. 151st Street  - Homer Township, IL (free - sponsored by Homer Township)  
(held at Homer Glen's new location - Heritage Park )
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Public viewing sessions have resumed.  Check their web page for more info!  -
2000 Fifth Avenue, River Grove, IL (1/2 mile north of North Avenue on Fifth Avenue) 
(provided by the Chicago Astronomical Society  and Cernan staff)
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The Little Red Schoolhouse may have observing after their scheduled walks. Check their web page for more info! - The Little Red School House
9800 So. 104th Ave (Flavin / Willow Springs Rd.), Willow Springs, IL (free - sponsored by the Chicago Astronomical Society)
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Stargazing has been canceled at - Lake Katherine Nature Center -
 
We lost a dear friend who ran the Stargazing Events - Joe Mayer - Rest in Peace Joe! 
 
7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights, IL 60463  --  Lake Katherine 2016 Observing Schedule
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Take a copy of the monthly sky map with you when you go observing -- go to  www.Skymaps.com  and download a  free  copy of their monthly sky chart.
And... make sure you take your binoculars and a copy of Jeff's Monthly Binocular Objects with you, too!
 
 




Total Solar Eclipse - April 8, 2024

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Comet PanSTARRS - March 21, 2013

 

The Moon!   

 
Pictures of a few phases of the September 27th, 2015 Lunar Eclipse
 

 

                           

BlackBerry Z-10 Smart Phone Camera help up to a Tele-Vue 8-24 Zoom Eyepiece in a Borg 76mm ED Refractor Telescope
 
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The picture on the left was taken using a Sony Mavica MVC-FD81 Digital Camera held up to a 40mm eyepiece (a-focal coupling) of my Meade LX10 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope producing 50 power.   The bluish tint was from an Orion Variable-Polarizing Filter. The picture on the right was taken at much higher power, around 200x, with no filter, along what's known as the 'terminator(notice the crater within the crater)   Click Here to visit my Driveway Astronomy Pictures Page for more Astronomy Pictures, and stop back periodically for new pictures & info!      
 
 
 
 
 

February 20th, 2008 Lunar Eclipse

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June 10th, 2008  Lunar "X"

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March 22nd, 2010  Lunar "X"

Want to learn more about the Lunar "X" ?  CLICK HERE!

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Lunar-X  /  March 1st, 2020 

Cell Phone camera held up to 18mm Kellner eyepiece of my 'Deck-Dob' (4.5-inch F/8 Reflector)

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Upcoming Observing Highlights for June 2024!  (from skymaps.com)
2 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 7:25 UT (distance 368,102km; angular size 32.5').
2 Moon near Mars at 22h UT (morning sky). Mag. 1.0.
Mars (Wikipedia)
4 Mercury 0.12° SE of Jupiter at 11h UT (12° from Sun, morning sky). Mags. −2.0 and −1.1.
4 Venus at superior conjunction with the Sun at 15h UT (not visible). The brightest planet passes into the evening sky.
5 Moon near the Pleiades at 10h UT (morning sky).
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
6 New Moon at 12:39 UT. Start of lunation 1255.
9 Moon near Castor at 3h UT (evening sky).
9 Moon near Pollux at 8h UT (evening sky).
10 Moon near Beehive cluster M44 at 11h UT (evening sky).
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
12 Moon near Regulus at 7h UT (evening sky).
Regulus (Wikipedia)
14 First Quarter Moon at 5:19 UT.
14 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 14h UT (distance 404,077km; angular size 29.6').
14 Mercury at superior conjunction with the Sun at 16h UT (not visible). The innermost planet passes into the evening sky.
Mercury (Wikipedia)
16 Moon near Spica at 20h UT (evening sky). Occultation visible from western Asia.
Spica (Wikipedia)
Disappearance and Reappearance Times (IOTA)
20 Moon near Antares at 12h UT (evening sky). Occultation visible from the western Pacific ocean.
Antares (Wikipedia)
Occultation of Antares (In-The-Sky)
20 June solstice at 20:51 UT. The time when the Sun reaches the point farthest north of the celestial equator marking the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
June Solstice (Wikipedia)
Equinoxes and Solstices from Space (NASA)
22 Full Moon at 1:09 UT.
27 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 11:33 UT (distance 369,286km; angular size 32.4').
27 Moon near Saturn at 16h UT (morning sky). Mag. 1.1. Occultation visible from eastern Australia, New Zealand and western Pacific ocean.
Saturn (Wikipedia)
Disappearance and Reappearance Times (IOTA)
Occultation of Saturn (In-The-Sky)
28 Last Quarter Moon at 21:54 UT.
 

>>> All times in Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)

 

The 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)

 

CLICK HERE to download a copy of Jeff's Monthly Binocular Objects  

 - a few challenging objects, and several easy objects for ordinary binoculars . . . GREAT for small scopes, too!  

 

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Major Meteor Showers in 2024

  
Shower Radiant and direction Morning of maximum Best hourly rate Parent
Quadrantids Boötes (NE) Jan. 3 25-110 2003 EH1
Lyrids* Lyra (E) April 22 10-20+ Thatcher (1861 I)
Eta Aquariids Aquarius (E) May 5-6 20-40 1P/Halley
Delta Aquariids Aquarius (S) July 20 - Aug 15l 15 96P/Machholz
Perseids* Perseus (NE) Aug. 12 90 109P/Swift-Tuttle
Orionids* Orion (SE) Oct. 21-22 20 1P/Halley
Taurids Taurus (overhead) Oct-Nov 5-10 2P/Encke
Leonids* Leo (E) Nov. 18 10-20 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
Geminids* Gemini (E) Dec. 13-14 100 3200 Phaethon
Ursids Ursa Minor (N) Dec. 22 10 8P/Tuttle


* Moonlight will wash out fainter meteors in these showers.

Bold Shower Names indicate the best predicted Meteor Showers!

The meteor showers listed above are the easiest to observe and provide the most activity. Particular attention should be noted to the time and moonlight conditions. All these showers are best seen after midnight. Some are not even visible until after midnight. Showers that peak with the moon's age between 10 and 20 days will be affected by moonlight and difficult to observe this year. While the time each shower is best seen remains much the same year after year, the moonlight conditions change considerably from one year to the next. 

Please use the form found HERE from the American Meteor Society to report any Meteors that you see.    Instructions on how to complete the form can be found HERE.

 

Moon Phases for Lombard, Illinois, USA in 2024    

Lunation New Moon First Quarter Full Moon Third Quarter
1249             3-Jan 21:30
1250 11-Jan 5:57 17-Jan 21:52 25-Jan 11:54 2-Feb 17:18
1251 9-Feb 16:59 16-Feb 9:00 24-Feb 6:30 3-Mar 9:23
1252 10-Mar 4:00 16-Mar 23:10 25-Mar 2:00 1-Apr 22:14
1253 8-Apr 13:20 15-Apr 14:13 23-Apr 18:48 1-May 6:27
1254 7-May 22:21 15-May 6:48 23-May 8:53 30-May 12:12
1255 6-Jun 7:37 14-Jun 0:18 21-Jun 20:07 28-Jun 16:53
1256 5-Jul 17:57 13-Jul 17:48 21-Jul 5:17 27-Jul 21:51
1257 4-Aug 6:13 12-Aug 10:18 19-Aug 13:25 26-Aug 4:25
1258 2-Sep 20:55 11-Sep 1:05 17-Sep 21:34 24-Sep 13:49
1259 2-Oct 13:49 10-Oct 13:55 17-Oct 6:26 24-Oct 3:03
1260 1-Nov 7:47 8-Nov 23:55 15-Nov 15:28 22-Nov 19:27
1261 1-Dec 0:21 8-Dec 9:26 15-Dec 3:01 22-Dec 16:18
1262 30-Dec 16:26            
* All times are local time for Chicago. Time is adjusted for DST when applicable. Dates are based on the Gregorian calendar.

 

 

 

Observing Events and Programs that YOU can participate in...

(You won't need a fancy telescope or even binoculars - just your eyes!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GLOBE AT NIGHT - constellations & dates in 2023

 

 *** ORION ***     January 13 - 22  February 12 - 21 

 *** GEMINI ***     March 1 3 - 22 

 *** LEO ***     April 12 - 21  &  May 11 - 20

 *** BOOTES ***     June 9 - 18  &  July 8 - 17

 *** HERCULES ***     August 7 -  16   

 *** CYGNUS ***     September  5 - 14  &  October  4 - 13 

 *** PEGASUS ***      November  3 - 12  &  December  3 - 12

 

The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health. The GLOBE at Night campaign has run for two weeks each winter/spring for the last six years. People in 115 countries have contributed 66,000 measurements, making GLOBE at Night one of the most successful light pollution awareness campaigns.

Check out the new web application data submission process. The GLOBE at Night website is easy to use, comprehensive and holds an abundance of background information. The database is usable for comparisons with a variety of other databases, like how light pollution affects the foraging habits of bats.

Once again the GLOBE at Night Team would like to express their thanks to all the participants who contributed measurements locally to make a global difference.

 

Globe at Night measurement reporting period has started, check the Globe at Night Reporting web site  for the results!

 

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Lights Out / Earth Hour - Saturday, March 23, 2024 / 8:30-9:30 PM Local time!

Switch off all your lights for one hour at 8:30 Local Time.

On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour.  In the U.S. where we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, Earth Hour sends a clear message that Americans care about this issue and want to turn the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation.

Participation is easy.  By flipping off your lights on at 8:30 p.m. local time you will be making the switch to a cleaner, more secure nation and prosperous America.  Find out what else you can do to get involved including leading the Earth Hour movement in your community.

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My Favorite Objects include:
 
The Moon, the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the Dumbbell Nebula (M27), M29 - the cooling tower cluster, the Ring Nebula (M57), the M3 globular cluster in Canes Venatici, the Hercules Cluster (M13), the A/B Cluster (IC-4665), the Veil Nebula (NGC 6960 & 6992) the Coathanger (Brocchi's Cluster - Cr 399), the M81/M82 galaxy pair, the Swan Nebula (M17), the "ET" Cluster (NGC 457), the 'Mini Dipper' (M103), and the Great Orion Nebula (M42)
And.... M51 in the MallinCam!!
 

 

 

 

 

Other Driveway Astronomy Observers:
 
* My friend Randy came out to observe from my driveway with his new Meade ETX-125 AutoStar scope!
* My friend Mary Alice comes out to observe from my driveway with her keen eyes, and her Orion XT-10 Dob!
* Mark - KB9WLX, of the SWAOG, has also observed from my driveway with his Meade LX-90 SCT 'GO TO' Scope!
* Pete & "Re-Pete" came out to observe from my driveway and to check out my new LX-90!
* My friend Doug was out with his Celestron 8-inch Dobsonian Reflector
* Dave - KC9KPQ came out on June 2nd to observe through my new PST solar telescope
 
 
Tip for anyone interested in starting out in astronomy:
 
Start with a set of binoculars & a seasonal star chart and learn some of the major stars & constellations to help you navigate your way around the night sky.  SkyMaps.com, Sky & Telescope Magazine, and Astronomy Magazine have excellent monthly star charts. A good set of binoculars will remain an important observing aid no matter how far you advance in astronomy!  (CLICK HERE for a list of interesting binocular objects)  Attend as many different club's Public Star Parties as you can, and check out all the different types of telescopes before purchasing one.  Also, read the information provided in this Sky & Telescope "How To" section for beginners, this Learning Center resource site, and this web site.  
 
 
Items for sale:
 
I have a couple of astronomy-related items for sale:
 
 
 

 

Astronomy Conventions / Star Parties!

 

2007 Boot Leg Astronomer's Star Party

 

Epoch 2007

 

2007 Prairie Skies Star Party

 

2008 Astrofest Star Party

 

 
Above are pictures of my campsites at the 2007 Boot Leg Astronomer's, Epoch 2007, the 2007 Prairie Skies Star Party, and Astrofest 2008.   With me at these events were friends Doug, Dave - KC9KPQ, Don-KB9SWI, Scanner Chuck, Mark - KC9DSN & his Daughter Amy, Doug, John - KN9R, Sergio - AK9S & Mike
 
I had a fabulous time at all of these events, and look forward to the next one!
 
CLICK HERE  for a report on the Boot Leg Astronomer's Star Party.

Click Here for a report on Astrofest 2007 from the President of the Sheboygan A/S

 
 
 
2023 Astronomy Convention / Star Party Dates
 
 
     
 
Handy Astronomy Links:
SkyMaps.Com (free  copy of monthly sky map)
 
More Handy Astronomy Links:
International Dark-Sky Association                 
CLICK HERE to download a copy of Jeff's Monthly Binocular Objects  - a few challenging, and several easy objects for ordinary binoculars - GREAT for small scopes, too!   
 
 
 
Jupiter & 1 Moon
My Ham Radio Web Page - WD9GVU's Amateur Radio Web Page
Saturn

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