Author Archives: Tony Flanders

About Tony Flanders

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

Messier 101, the Pinwheel Galaxy

Guide to Messier 101

This is the web supplement to Howard Banich's article "The Determined Observer's Guide to M101," in the June 2013 issue of Sky & Telescope. In it, Banich describes observing M101 with his motorized 28-inch alt-azimuth Newtonian, preparing the sketch shown below at low resolution. M101 is extraordinarily rich in active star-forming regions, 10 of which…

The May-June 2013 Planet Dance

A remarkable series of events takes place low in the west-northwest shortly after sunset from late May to late June. It features the tightest three-planet grouping visible without binoculars until 2026 and an excellent apparition of Mercury.

Mercury Meets Mars

Mercury and Mars, the two smallest planets, appear spectacularly close to each other shortly after sunset on Thursday and Friday, February 7th and 8th.

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.