Author Archives: Bob King

About Bob King

Amateur astronomer since childhood and long-time member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), Bob King also teaches community education astronomy. The universe invites us on an adventure every single night. All we need do is look up.

Gift at day's end

Tiptoe Into The Twilight Zone

Twilight. Gloaming. Dusk. Blue Hour — all names for that colorful and contemplative time between day and night. We explore twilight's brief but fascinating sights and learn why it gets shorter as summer turns to fall. Twilight takes us gently into that good night. I wouldn't mind spending time on the Moon, but I'd miss dusk and dawn. Many...

Comet 67P/C-G

Rosetta’s Comet Beckons At Dawn

We've patiently waited for Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to grow bright enough to see in amateur telescopes. That time has finally arrived. Here's how to spot it before dawn. We've waited a long time for this. Looked at hundreds of close-up photos of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by the Rosetta spacecraft since it arrived at the comet a year ago...

Old rock sprinkled atop new

Blue Moon Rayed-Crater Blowout

Like "catching some rays"? This weekend's Blue Moon invites us to explore the beauty and dazzle of crater rays, the tracks left by powerful impacts in the not-so-distant past.

Green-striped night

Why We Can See In The Dark

In search of a pitch black night? Don't expect to find it on Earth. Thanks to starlight, zodiacal light, and especially airglow, true darkness doesn't exist.

Barnard's footsteps

Dive Into Scutum’s Dark Nebulae

One of the smallest constellations in the sky hosts one of the richest concentrations of dark nebulae. Join me for a dip in these dark pools from which the next generation of stars will be born.

Lovejoy480x274_v2

Catch Comet Lovejoy in Cassiopeia

Still bright and easier than ever to find, Comet Lovejoy continues to delight skywatchers. Watch as it cuts through Cassiopeia this week. Comet Lovejoy, now a long-time visitor to our night sky, lies poised at the limit of naked eye visibility. Hovering around magnitude 5.8, the comet looks like a faint star from a dark sky,...