Blaine Dickey

The Winter Triangle

Feb 11, 2020
Celestron Sky Portal App


In the past I have talked about the Summer Triangle consisting of three bright stars in the summer sky namely, Deneb, Altair, and Vega. Did you know that there is also a Winter Triangle formed by the three stars, Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Procyon?

Betelgeuse Is Dimming

Feb 5, 2020
Blaine Dickey



No supernova has been observed in our Milky Way galaxy since the invention of the telescope in 1608. That may be about to change. 


Watch For Orion In January Skies

Jan 14, 2020
Blaine Dickey



Orion the Hunter is the brightest of the constellations and perhaps the best known. In Greek mythology, Orion is described with his dog Sirius and was known for roaming the underworld holding a bronze club. 

First Flyby Of The Sun Made By NASA Parker Probe

Jan 7, 2020
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Conceptual Image Lab/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez


The NASA Parker Solar Probe recently made its first flyby of our Sun. It came within 24 million miles of the Sun’s surface. Try to imagine what it would be like to be that close to the Sun.

The 82 Moons Of Saturn

Dec 9, 2019

On a good clear dark night using a large amateur telescope you should be able to see the six brightest moons of Saturn, namely Titan, Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Rhea and Dione. The other 76 moons are much fainter.

Early This Sunday Morning Is The Leonid Meteor Shower

Nov 15, 2019
Celestron Sky Portal

The Leonid Meteor shower will occur in the early morning hours of Sunday, November 17, 2019. Every 33 years this shower produces an extraordinary display. On November 17, 1966 many thousands of meteors showered down from the sky. It was estimated that the meteors fell that night at a rate of 25,000 per hour. Unfortunately, while my dad and brother were enjoying this spectacle in the sky, I was sound asleep in my bed.

Neptune: The Eighth Planet From The Sun

Oct 17, 2019

The discovery of the planet Neptune was made partly by mathematical calculation. Scientists noticed that the motion of Uranus failed to exactly follow its predicted path across the sky. An English astronomer John Couch Adams and a French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier came to the conclusion that an undiscovered planet’s gravity must be affecting the motion of the planet Uranus. 


Gennady Borisov, an amateur astronomer from Crimea, Ukraine, discovered a new object from his observatory that appears to be a comet coming from the depths of interstellar space. Unlike most comets, it does not appear to be part of our solar system. The orbit of the new object is hyperbolic in shape and is probably not bound by the gravity our sun. 

Blaine Dickey

Recently I had an extraordinary experience observing the night skies with a friend in the Grand Teton National Park. My friend Phil from Alabama set up a camera on a beach near Jackson Lake to photograph the Milky Way while my equipment consisted of a simple pair of binoculars.

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

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.


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

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.


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.


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

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.  


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

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

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.