Tom Westre


When you look up at a clear, dark night sky without any light pollution, you should be able to see as many as 2,000 or more stars.  That is a small portion of the 200 billion stars that make up our Milky Way Galaxy.  

The Vega Star: The Old - And Future - North Star

Jun 26, 2019
Christophe LEHENAFF

One of the most interesting stars in the summer skies is Vega. Vega is close to us at only 25 light years from the Sun.  It is the second brightest star seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

Summer Solstice - The Longest Day Of The Year

Jun 20, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Summer officially begins astronomically in Utah on Friday, June 21st, at 9:54 MDT.  The northern hemisphere on the solstice is the longest day of the year.  Dawn comes early and sunsets come late, with short nights and less time to enjoy the night sky.  

Saturn In Retrograde

May 3, 2019

From the Earth we view the brighter outer planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn moving in their orbits around the Sun in an easterly direction.  At times these planets seem to stop in their eastward motion and reverse direction towards the west for a few months before they resume their normal eastward motion   Astronomers call this retrograde motion. 

Vernal Equinox-Full Moon with Tom Westre

Apr 23, 2019

Tomorrow we wake up to a new season. Spring begins at 3:44 p.m. MDT— the moment of the vernal equinox. It occurs when the Sun crosses Earth’s equator from south to north. We look forward to longer and warmer days. 

Zodiac With Tom Westre

Apr 23, 2019

One of the exciting adventures of astronomy is to find other planets like the earth orbiting other stars. The first such planet was found in 1992. On March 6, 2009, NASA launched a planet-hunting satellite called Kepler. Its job was to stare at a spot in the sky containing 150,00 stars,  in the Constellation Cygnus, looking for dips in starlight as an orbing planet passed between us and its sun. Kepler collected this data in two missions.