WNC welcomes ‘The Great American Solar Eclipse’

At 2:35 p.m. on Aug. 21, Western North Carolina residents and visitors will have the chance to watch as the moon moves fully in front of the sun for the first time in 26 years.

What to do, where to go?

WNC prepares to celebrate Solar Eclipse

Prepare to shoot: Eclipse photography takes research, preparation

It’s safe to say that a good solar eclipse photo requires a bit more preparation than your average snapshot.

Local governments plan for the worst, hope for the best

There are still many unknowns as the historic Total Solar Eclipse approaches Aug. 21, but local governments are trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario while hoping for the best.

Don’t fall for that 5-planet crap

out natcornIt’s been awhile since The Naturalist’s Corner’s chief investigative journalist, Kuteeng Satire, has been called upon to help us clarify any natural history phenomenon that might be accessible to most of our fellow travelers here on Spaceship Earth.

End of the bloody tetrad

out natcornAll the lunar-phobes out there, as well as many of the astronomically challenged – like me, will be praying for clear skies for the night and pre dawn hours on Sept. 27-28. The total eclipse of September’s Harvest Moon (so called in the Northern Hemisphere because it is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox) will bring an end to this latest — gasp — lunar tetrad.

Hunting season

out natcornOrion the Hunter has taken to the late autumn skies. One of the loveliest and most easily recognized constellations will be stalking the heavens until he slides into the daytime sky early next spring. Astronomers believe the Hunter, in his present form, is more than a million years old and think he will continue to stalk the heavens for another couple million years.

Citizen scientists help PARI catalog celestial photographs

out frThe Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is making use of citizen scientists from around the world to help sort and catalog its photo albums of the universe.

Since the late 1800s, astronomers have been taking images of the night sky, using the telescope like a long camera lens and putting either film or small, photographic plates at the eyepiece.

Dark skies — and the stars that go with them — slowly disappearing

coverAlthough the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a protected expanse of land, all types of contamination — from air pollution to mercury contamination — manage to creep in. One of the more unusual suspects, but probably the most apparent, is light.

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