"Pillaging the Universe One Star at a Time"

 

The 2015 Bootleg Star Party Dates are: 

May 15th - 17th!!  

Watch for the pictures from the 2014 Bootleg Star Party -- Coming Soon.... 

Check out the Bootleg 2013 Pictures link on the left!

 

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Bootleg 2014 Pictures

Bootleg 2013 Pictures

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2008 Prairie Skies Star Party Pictures 

CAS Astrofest @ Camp Shaw

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Texas Star Party 2009

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Upcoming Observing Highlights for December 2014   (from skymaps.com)
 
2 Moon near Uranus (evening sky) at 0h UT. Mag. +5.8.
5 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 10h UT.
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
6 Moon near Aldebaran (midnight sky) at 3h UT.
Aldebaran (Wikipedia)
6 Full Moon at 12:26 UT.
8 Mercury at superior conjunction with the Sun at 10h UT. The elusive planet passes into the evening sky.
Superior & Inferior Conjunctions (Wikipedia)
9 Moon near Pollux (morning sky) at 15h UT.
10 Moon near Beehive Cluster (morning sky) at 19h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
12 Moon near Jupiter (117 from Sun, morning sky) at 1h UT. Mag. -2.3.
12 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 16h UT.
12 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 23h UT (distance 404,581 km; angular size 29.5').
14 Geminid Meteor Shower peaks at 12h UT. Major activity lasts almost 24 hours around peak time. Produces bright, medium-speed meteors at its peak (up to 80 meteors/hour). Most reliable meteor shower. Easy to observe (radiant shown on sky map). Best seen after midnight.
Observing the Geminids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar (IMO)
14 Last Quarter Moon at 12:53 UT.
17 Moon near Spica (61 from Sun, morning sky) at 3h UT.
19 Moon near Saturn (28 from Sun, morning sky) at 21h UT. Mag. +0.5.
21 December solstice at 23:03 UT. The time when the Sun reaches the point farthest south of the celestial equator marking the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere.
December Solstice (Wikipedia)
22 New Moon at 1:35 UT. Start of lunation 1138.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
23 Moon near Venus (14 from Sun) at 3h UT.
24 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 17h UT (364,797 km; angular size 32.8').
25 Moon near Mars (evening sky) at 5h UT. Mag. +1.1.
28 First Quarter Moon at 18:32 UT.
29 Moon near Uranus (evening sky) at 5h UT. Mag. +5.8. Occultation visible from Alaska, USA.
>>> All times Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)

 

Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)