Author Archives: Tony Flanders

About Tony Flanders

Contributing editor Tony Flanders has been working with S&T in some capacity since 2003.

Jupiter Dances with the Moon

On the night of Monday, January 21, 2013. Jupiter, the second-brightest planet, appears less than a finger-width from the Moon as seen from North America. And in much of South America, the Moon passes in front of Jupiter, hiding it from view.

Saturn on Feb. 23

A Saturn Almanac

Spectacular Saturn is a perennial favorite of telescope users everywhere. Click here to find printable data on the positions of Saturn's rings and planets.

The crescent Moon meets Venus

Follow the Morning Moon

The Moon is the great highlight of the early morning sky this week, as it heads for a spectacular rendezvous with Venus at dawn on Thursday, January 10th.

Radiant of the Quadrantid meteors

Catch the Quadrantids in Moonlight

Undeniably one of the year's best, the Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on the morning of Thursday, January 3rd. The best viewing opportunity comes between 1 a.m. and dawn, but you'll have competition from a waning gibbous Moon.

Jupiter Meets Venus

Jupiter Meets Venus

Jupiter and Venus have just crossed paths in the sky. From The two planets are within 5° of each other from March 9th to 17th, fitting in a single field of view through most binoculars.

Cassiopeia from Hevelius's star atlas

SkyWeek TV

S&T associate editor Tony Flanders muses on the rewards and challenges of scripting a television program.


Time Committee Procrastinates

An international committee formed to settle the protocol for civilian time once and for all recently announced an important decision — they're going to put off the decision for another three years.

SkyWatch 2012: The Planets

Planets change greatly in appearance over time frames ranging from hours to months. That's both due to superficial effects — rotation revealing different sides of a globe — and fundamental changes on a planet's surface or in its atmosphere. A number of amateur astrophotographers have stitched their own images together to create movies showing...

A prominent solar flare captured by SDO's AIA instrument in June, 2011

SkyWatch 2012: The Sun

The Sun is incredibly dynamic — something that's difficult to convey properly in the pages of a book or magazine. If you watch a major solar flare through a telescope, it will often change from one minute to the next. Time-lapse movies compress the time scale, allowing you to see this motion directly. In...

Vesta, the 2nd-largest asteroid in the main belt

SkyWatch 2012: Asteroids

Many asteroids have been visited by spacecraft since the Galileo probe flew by Gaspra in 1991 en route to Jupiter. These spacecraft encounters have yielded a treasure trove of detailed images and data. To study an asteroid's surface completely and in detail, it's necessary to orbit the asteroid rather than just photograph it in...

SkyWatch 2012: Time-Lapse Skyscapes

In the article "Moving Pictures" from SkyWatch 2012, Lorenzo Comolli and Alessandro Gambaro explain in detail how to create time-lapse movies of the sky and other night scenes with a digital camera. Some of the authors' best videos are available on their website (click on AstroVideos in the left margin). Time-lapse skyscape videos have...