Author Archives: Bob King

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 and writes the blog Astro Bob. The universe invites us on an adventure every single night. All we need do is look up. Pre-order my forthcoming book "Night Sky with the Naked Eye" on Amazon and BN. It covers all the great things you can see at night without any special equipment. Publication date is Nov. 8, 2016.

Quasar Footprint

Quasar CTA 102: Historically Bright, Violently Variable

The normally faint quasar CTA 102, once thought to harbor an advanced civilization and made famous in a 1967 song by the Byrds, is currently bright enough to see in an 8-inch telescope.  In the history of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, there have been two great false alarms. The first occurred in 1963…

nova-sgr-oct-2016-st

8th-magnitude Nova in Sagittarius

A nova in Sagittarius, discovered a few nights ago by a Japanese amateur, has become bright enough to see in binoculars. Update: As of October 31st, the nova had been holding at about magnitude 8.0 for a week. It's temporarily designated TCP J18102829-2729590. This is not to be confused with another nova just above the…

The aurora erupted in a fine display of sharp-tipped rays early this morning around 12:30 a.m. as seen from near Duluth, Minn. More auroras are expected Monday and Tuesday nights Oct. 24-25.
Bob King

More Auroras Coming to Northern Skies

Keep your eye on the northern sky. Auroras are in the forecast for the next couple nights courtesy of a "hole" in the Sun's corona. Update (October 25th): Since early this morning, a stronger than expected blast of solar wind has been ruffling Earth's magnetic field and stoking a strong geomagnetic storm. We're currently experiencing a G3 /…

Three in a Row Show

Enjoy Orion in Shirtsleeves

Throw open the door and welcome back Orion at dawn. The Hunter's return brings relief from the heat and gives us a fresh shot at exploring untouched winter deep-sky objects in comfort.

Rich Cluster in a Rich Neighborhood

Midnight Meridian Morsels

Late June offers a grab bag of clusters and nebulae "lined up" at the midnight hour. Time your southern deep-sky viewing with meridian passage and you'll be a happy camper.