Looking Up column: Worlds to see on a summer night

Look to the southeast this weekend, as soon as it gets dark, for a look at other worlds.The huge ball of light shining in your face first commands your attention. This is hopefully not a streetlight, or someone shining a flash light at you. Ruling either of these out, what you are seeing is the… … Read More


Looking Up column: Comet NEOWISE still visible under Big Dipper

Have you had a chance to see Comet NEOWISE? Described as the finest comet in years, visible with just your eyes, is gradually passing underneath the Big Dipper.The comet is also gradually fading as it moves away from the sun. You should be able to see it this weekend, although you may need binoculars.Look northwest… … Read More


Looking Up column: See Comet NEOWISE next clear evening

Comet NEOWISE, which has amazed early morning risers the last couple of weeks, is now a beautiful sight in the evening sky, especially with binoculars.There are dozens of comets gracing the night sky every year that are tracked by amateur astronomers. Most require a telescope and never rise to catch the attention of the general… … Read More


Looking Up column: See where we are headed in the night sky

Where are we headed? There are a lot of ways to look at that. How about the constellation Hercules?We’re on the ride of our lifetimes, whether you fully know it or not. All 7.8 billion people are passengers on this planet we call Earth, which is not only circling the sun but is on an… … Read More


Looking for space?: Huntsville has the wide-open kind and the out-of-this-world kind

In these times of wanting to escape from the confines of the house to find some space, this city in Alabama has space in more ways than one.As home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command, Huntsville knows all about space. The city’s slogan is “we’ve got… … Read More


Looking Up column: Antares, the red star of summer

Antares is what Betelgeuse is to winter nights. Antares, prominent on summer nights (Northern Hemisphere, that is; Down Under, winter has just begun), is likewise bright and red.Like Betelgeuse, Antares is a “supergiant” star, far larger than our sun and so big the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars would fit inside it. Good… … Read More


Looking Up column: A diamond, a ruby and a doughnut

In our imagination, we will see it isn’t hard to visualize these among the stars. Just picture a harp that plays sweet music, and what a better melody than gems and junk food!Seriously, what we are referring to is the bright star Vega, which shines distinctly blue-white like a diamond, a dim but very red… … Read More


Step through the Looking Glass with Destin Library

Hampstead Stage brings the virtual stage to you this summer. This performance of “Alice in Wonderland” combines elements from both “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.” On June 19 and 20, follow the link at www.cityofdestin.com/library or inside the Alice in Wonderland Activity Badge in the Destin Library’s Beanstack App and enter the… … Read More


Looking Up column: Catching the Dragon by the tail

Looking north as darkness finally settles in on a mid-June evening – around 10 p.m. for mid-northern latitudes – you will see Draco the Dragon, backing up, its tail between the two dippers.Dragons are fascinating creatures of mythology. One may wonder if there really were dinosaurs that survived into the days of the ancient Britons,… … Read More


Looking Up column: Barnard’s Star: Moving like a firefly

Where we live, June evenings bring fireflies – “lightning bugs” dancing their way across the starry background.This is a real pleasure of stepping out on a clear night in June. The field we have out back, darkened by the night, would look like a field of stars if those fireflies would stand still. Instead they… … Read More