Blaine Dickey

Building The Thirty-Meter International Telescope

Sep 12, 2019

When I was younger, the largest telescope in the world was the 200 inch Hale Telescope located on Palomar Mountain in Southern California. At the time it was considered that a telescope with a 200 inch mirror was about the largest practical size that any telescope could be built. It was the largest telescope in the world for over 45 years.

Each summer a familiar shape appears high in the eastern sky that is worth taking a look at. Three bright stars form a large easy to see V shape in the sky called the Summer Triangle. Each bright star of the Summer Triangle is also associated with a well-known constellation that is easy to recognize.

The Annual Perseid Meteor Shower is now underway and is predicted to reach its peak on the early morning of Tuesday, August 13. During the meteor shower an average of 60 meteors per hour can be seen. Many of them are bright, leaving trails across the sky. They can be seen radiating like spokes of a wheel from a central point in the constellation Perseus. Fireballs are often associated with this meteor shower.

Apollo 11 Moon Landing's 50th Anniversary

Jul 17, 2019
NASA

On July 20, 1969 two Americans, Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the moon. Six hours later Armstrong was the first person to step onto the lunar surface. At that historic moment he spoke the famous words, “That’s one small step for man, One giant leap for mankind.” 

Total Eclipse Of The Moon

Jul 9, 2019

On January 20th of this year we experienced a total eclipse of the moon in Cache Valley. Unfortunately it was mostly cloudy and quite cold that evening so you may not have made the effort to look. But fortunately there were enough breaks in the clouds that some amateur astronomers including myself were able to take images of it.

NASA

When a person looks through my telescope at the moon, I often hear comments something like, wow that’s amazing or you have to come and see this! When you look at the moon with the naked eye about all you can see are some gray and white markings on the surface of the moon but little else. That experience completely changes when you look at the moon through a quality telescope.

The Planet Jupiter And Its Moons

Jun 14, 2019
NASA

In early June the planet Jupiter ascends slowly into the southeastern evening sky. This beige colored planet is easy to see because it is the brightest object in the night sky except for the moon.

NASA

You may have heard the name OSIRUS-Rex in the news lately. It is a NASA-sponsored spacecraft that was launched on the 8th of September 2016 and has recently entered into orbit around the asteroid Bennu, a small spinning top shaped asteroid composed of gravel like material. 

Polaris: AKA The North Star

May 9, 2019
Blaine Dickey

Polaris is the proper name for what is often referred to as the North Star. For several thousand years it has served as a signpost in the sky and points northward to all those who view it. Of all the stars it is unique because it appears to be almost stationary in the sky while all the other stars appear to rotate around it.

NASA

The star Arcturus glows brightly in the eastern sky in the spring and summer months. It is the fourth brightest star in the sky. It has a distinct yellowish color and when noticed in the eastern sky you will know that spring is about to arrive. 

Farout And FarFarOut with Blaine Dickey

Apr 23, 2019
NASA

A group of astronomers using the Japanese Subaru 8-meter telescope, located on the top of the mountain Mauna Kea in Hawaii has discovered an object in the extreme outer portions of the solar system on November 18, 2018.  

NASA

Sirius is the most luminous Star in the Sky and is easily observed this month about 1/3rd of the way up the southern sky around 9 p.m. Only our Sun, the moon, Venus, and Jupiter, are brighter. Sirius is the 10th closest star to the earth being only 8.7 light years away, about twice the size of our sun, and about 20 times brighter. 

New Horizon Spacecraft With Blaine Dickey

Apr 23, 2019
NASA

The New Horizon Spacecraft was launched on its journey to the outer solar system on January 19, 2006. It arrived at the minor planet Pluto more than nine years later on July 14, 2015. It revealed an amazing amount of detail about Pluto that was previously unknown, such as kilometer high mountains made of solid ice, craters, cry-o-volcanoes, and plains made of nitrogen ice.

The Planet Mercury With Blaine Dickey

Apr 23, 2019
NASA

The famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus first proposed that the sun rather than the earth was at the center of the Solar System. Legend has it that Copernicus never saw the planet Mercury. This is understandable considering that the planet Mercury hugs the horizon even when at its highest elevation in the sky.