Lunar Observing Solar Observing Satellite Observing

Hunting the Messier Objects AstroView 120ST Observations Log General Observing Log

Orion Telescope Center Astronomy Magazine Saguaro Astronomy Club US Naval Observatory Dark Sky Society Earth Sky

Jupiter's Moons (Sky and Telescope) Sky and Telescope - This Week's Sky at a Glance Amazing Space - Tonight's Sky Moon Giant

Joe Orman's Photos Rick Scott's Photos Sid Leach Astrophotography Ben Cooper Launch Photography Realm of the Sun / Jim Lafferty

Astro-Tom: Messier Starry Night Skies Photography Polar Image

Heavens-AboveReal Time Satellite Tracking Cal Sky

Weasner's Cassiopeia Observatory

Dava Sobel - Author of "Longitude"


110-101 100-91 90-81 80-71 70-61 60-51 50-41 40-31 30-21 20-11 10-1



Aeromoe's Version of Joe Orman's Naked-Eye 100 List


Used and adapted by permission of Joe Orman. Joe's 100 list.


Many astronomy clubs create observing lists with 110 items to honor the French astronomer Charles Messier and his famous list of 110 "Messier Objects."
In that tradition, I've expanded Joe's original list to 110 items. I've included a few more general observation items as well as some
that are more favorable for locations closer to the equator or in the southern hemisphere.


How I got started on this list


Brief tutorial on setting up Heavens Above viewing locations


1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71-80 81-90 91-100 110-101


Percent complete as of 05 Mar 2017: 87% (87 of 100)

Latest grab: Lunar Occultation of Bright Star (04 Mar 2017)






Below is a brief "key" to the columns of my list.

-List Item Number.
-Observed Check Box. "\" means I've observed it historically; "X" means I've observed it since I created this list in Jul 2010.
-The Phenomenon. Hyperlink is to either a Wikipedia article (generic) or a specific website such as for the 2012 Transit of Venus (noted with an '#'.)
-Historical Date Observed. If I have a photo I've taken, a link is included. Not all have dates associated with them...they are common enough that I can remember observing them at least once.
-Recent Obvservation Date. If I have a photo I've taken, a link is included.
-Future Event - pretty much a self-reminder.
-Description of the Phenomenon, either direct or paraphrased from Joe Orman's list.
-My current estimate of the odds I'll observe it (0-100%).


Note: I'm not an astrophotographer so many of my older night sky photos are scans of old prints taken with a 35mm film camera (Canon A1 and Canon FD lenses)
The recent ones (2010's) were taken with a digital SLR.
During the weekend of August 13-15, 2010 I rented a relatively "fast" 16-35mm f2.8 lens and took a lot of sky photos from a few different dark locations. After some initial focus issues the first two nights, the night of the 15th I managed to get some pretty decent photos. I hope to add some to the "Recent Observation" links on this page.

# Ob? Phenomenon Historical
Observation
Recent
Observation
Future Event
(for me)
Description Odds
1
X
SUNRISE
14 Jul 10
10 Aug 10
.
Night to day...our closest star appears in the sky 100
2
X
EQUINOX SUNRISE
.
23 Sep 10
~ Mar 20
~ Sep 23
Twice annually on the equinox dates, sun rises due east. Look along an east/west street, etc
Equinox = 20 Mar 11 16:21 MST; 23 Sep 11 02:04 MST
Sunrise: 21 Mar 11 06:32 MST; 23 Sep 11 06:18 MST
100
3
X
SUNSPOTS
.
08 Jan 14
.
Occasionally sunspots get big enough to see without magnification. Use proper eye protection!! Approved solar filter or a #14 welder's glass is appropriate 100
4
X
SOLAR ECLIPSE, PARTIAL
11 Jul 91
23 Oct 14
.
Moon takes a bite out of the sun 100
5
.
SOLAR ECLIPSE, TOTAL
.
.
21 Aug 17
(U.S.)
Within path of totality, moon completely covers the sun revealing the sun's corona.
Next U.S. events: 21 Aug 2017 and 8 Apr 2024
100
6
.
BAILEY'S BEADS
.
.
.
Sunlight peeking between the mountains of the moon during a total solar eclipse 100
7
.
DIAMOND RING
.
.
.
A brief flash of direct sunlight signals the beginning and end of a total solar eclipse 100
8
X
SOLAR ECLIPSE, ANNULAR
.
20 May 12
14 Oct 23
(U.S.)
Moon appears in line with the sun but does not completely cover it, leaving a "ring of fire"
The eclipsed sun was of course very bright and the eclipse was not "visible" to the naked eye, however it was visible through the solar filter.
100
9
X
SOLAR TRANSIT OF MERCURY #
.
9 May 16

Telescopic
NOV 11, 2019
Fairly rare: 13 or 14 each century. Next occurance: Nov 11, 2019
Mercury was NOT visible to me naked-eye through the solar filter...only telescopically.
Due to the relative rareness of this event I am going to count it for this project.
100
10
X
SOLAR TRANSIT OF VENUS #
.
5 Jun 12
.
Very rare: Groups of two 8 years apart separated by over a century between these groups.
Next occurance: Dec 11, 2117 and Dec 8, 2125

Venus was easily visible to my naked eye through a solar filter
100
11
X
SUN HALO
.
23 Apr 11
.
On winter days with thin clouds look for a complete circle around the sun, 22 degrees in radius 100
12
X
SUNDOGS (PARAHELIA)
16 Aug 10
3 Oct 12
.
Appear in thin clouds as bright colored patches a minimum of 22 degrees away from the sun and to the left and right of sun 100
13
X
SUN PILLAR
.
09 Jul 12
.
Vertical column of light directly above sun's location when sun is on or near horizon. Formed by reflection off ice crystals 100
14
.
OTHER HALOS
.
.
.
Circumzenithal arc, tanget arcs, parry arc, 46-degree halo...some are subtle and rarely seen 100
15
X
CORONA
.
16 Feb 11
.
In thin clouds, colored rings a few degrees across around the sun or moon 100
16
.
AUREOLE
.
.
.
Bright glow around sun or moon, colorless and only a few degrees across 100
17
X
GLORY
.
18 Mar 14
.
Looking into fog or clouds from a plane or mountaintop, colored rings around antisolar point 100
18
\
BROCKEN SPECTRE
.
.
.
Your own shadow in the center of the glory 100
19
.
MOUNTAIN SHADOW
.
.
.
From mountain top look opposite sunset; perspective makes a cone-shaped shadow 100
20
X
RAINBOW
24 Jul 10
8 Aug 10
.
Primary rainbow appears as an arc 42-degrees in radius centered around the antisolar point 100
21
X
DOUBLE RAINBOW
20 Feb 10
22 Jul 10
.
The outer, secondary rainbow is 51 degrees in radius. Colors are reversed. 100
22
X
IRISATION (IRIDESCENT CLOUDS)
.
27 Jun 12
.
Multi-colored patch in thin clouds or on cloud edges many degrees from the sun 100
23
X
MIRAGES
.
24 Aug 13
.
Sky reflected off temperature boundaries close to the ground 100
24
X
LIGHTNING
1 Jul 95

10 Jul 10
30 Jul 11
.
Awesome sight day or night...observe with caution and from a safe distance! 100
25
X
CREPUSCULAR RAYS
11 Jul 10
24 Jul 10
.
Brilliant streaks of light radiating from clouds backlit by the sun 100
26
X
ANTICREPUSCULAR RAYS
.
23 Jul 10
.
Crepuscular rays converging on the antisolar point; often very faint and diffuse 100
27
X
SUNSET
20 Feb 10
24 Jul 10
.
Watch our closest star set but keep watching afterward for the best sky and cloud colors 100
28
X
EQUINOX SUNSET
.
23 Sep 10
~ Mar 20
~ Sep 23
Twice annually on the equinox dates, sun sets straight west. Look along an east-west street
Equinox = 20 Mar 11 16:21 MST; 23 Sep 11 02:04 MST
Sunset: 20 Mar 11 18:41 MST; 23 Sep 11 18:25 MST
100
29
X
GREEN FLASH
.
10 Jan 14
.
Need low horizon and clear skies. Upper limb of sun flashes green just before setting 50
30
X
BELT OF VENUS
3 Feb 03
1 Sep 10
.
A band of pink above the horizon; look opposite the sun just before sunrise or after sunset 100
31
X
TWILIGHT
.
5 Aug 10
.
After sunset or before sunrise, the sky is a pastel pallette of orange, pink, purple, blue, and black 100
32
.
NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS
.
.
.
Rarely-seen clouds of ice particles at edge of space after twilight - only from high latitudes 10
33
X
ZODIACAL LIGHT
.
19 Sep 10
.
A pale cone of light along the ecliptic best seen before dawn in the fall or after a spring sunset 100
34
.
GEGENSCHEIN
.
.
.
A faint patch of light on the ecliptic; look at the antisolar point around midnight 100
35
X
AURORA BOREALIS
12 Aug 00
08 Oct 16
.
Northern Lights - colorful emissions of photons in the upper atmosphere 100
36
X
MOONRISE
25 Aug 10
23 Sep 10
.
Rising moon silhouetting a distant mountain, tree or saguaro cactus is an awe-inspiring sight 100
37
X
EQUINOX MOONRISE
.
23 Sep 10
.
Near spring and fall equinox the full moon rises due east opposite the sunset in the west
Equinox = 20 Mar 11 16:21 MST; 23 Sep 11 02:04 MST
Moonrise: 20 Mar 11 20:16 MST
100
38
X
OLD / YOUNG CRESCENT MOON
15 Jul 10
8 Aug 10
.
Mornings before new moon look for crescent above the twilight horizon an hour or two before sunrise
Evenings after new moon look for crescent above the twilight horizon right after sunset
100
39
X
EARTHSHINE
5 Aug 10
5 Aug 10
.
Sunlight reflected off the earth and onto the dark portion of the moon; best when moon is a thin crescent 100
40
X
FULL MOON
25 Jul 10
23 Sep 10
.
Be sure to also look at the surrounding landscape bathed in the cool moonlight
Moonrise at 17:23 MST; Full Moon at 18:37 MST
100
41
X
MOON HALO
.
7 Feb 12
.
Same as a sun halo but seen around the moon at night 100
42
X
HARVEST MOON
.
23 Sep 10
.
Full moon closest to fall equinox; rises soon after sunset for several days in a row
Full Moon rises 12 Sep 11 18:36 MST; Equinox = 23 Sep 11 02:04 MST
100
43
X
LUNAR ECLIPSE, PARTIAL
.
4 Jun 12
19 Nov 2021
09:02 UT
Earth's shadow takes a bite out of the moon. 100
44
X
LUNAR ECLIPSE, TOTAL
21 Dec 10
27 Sep 15

31 Jan 18

12:00 UT

20/21 Jan 19
The moon passes totally within the earth's shadow, often turning a dark reddish color
10 Dec 2011 event was nice to watch from Arizona although totality began just as the moon was setting into some clouds in the brightening western morning sky.
21 Dec 2010 event: mostly cloudy but observed it briefly twice at beginning of totality - unable to get any photos.
15 Apr 2014 event: I was on the east coast and it was very cloudy during nearly the entire event. I did see a bit of partiality at the beginning.
08 Oct 2014 event: Totally clouded out in Arizona.
04 Apr 2015 event: Observed pre-dawn...very nice.
27 Sep 2015 event: Observed after moonrise in the evening...very nice.
100
45
X
LET THE MOON FOLLOW YOU HOME
.
8 Aug 10
.
The moon seems to follow you as you drive along the road - a trick of perspective 100
46
X
MOON REFLECTED IN WATER
.
18 Sep 10
.
This sight has inspired poets and lovers for ages 100
47
X
GLITTER PATH
.
31 Aug 12
.
The sun or moon's reflection forms a column of glittering light on rippling water 100
48
X
MOONSET
20 Jul 10
11 Aug 10
.
Whether full or crescent, the last bit to dip beneath the horizon always brings a special sadness 100
49
X
EQUINOX MOONSET
.
23 Sep 10
.
Near spring and fall equinox, the full moon sets straight west, opposite the sunrise in the east.
.
100
50
X
MERCURY
13 May 94
5 Aug 10
.
For a few days every month or two, Mercury rises above the glow of twilight and is easy to see 100
51
X
VENUS
11 Jul 10
Aug 10
.
Brightly visible above the morning or evening twilight for several months at a time 100
52
X
VENUS IN DAYTIME
20 Jul 10
30 Nov 10
.
Easy to see if you know where to look and can focus eyes to infinity. Helps if moon is nearby 100
53
X
MARS
.
17 Jul 10
.
Near opposition Mars is a brilliant object in the night sky 100
54
X
JUPITER
.
9 Jul 10
.
Looks like a bright star - magnification needed to see the four Galilean moons 100
55
X
SATURN
.
8 Jul 10
.
Looks like a bright star - appears golden in color. Magnification needed to see rings 100
56
.
URANUS
14 Sep 10
(scope)
.
.
At best, Uranus is near the limit of naked-eye visibility...try and observe from a dark-sky site 100
57
X
PLANETARY CONJUNCTION
2 Aug 10
10 Aug 10
.

  Look for two or more planets appearing near each other
Please click the thumbnail for a series of photos showing the progress during Aug/Sep 2010
100
58
X
STAR-PLANET CONJUNCTION
31 Aug 10
03 Oct 12
.
Occasionally planets appear very close to background stars 100
59
X
MOON-PLANET CONJUNCTION
8 Sep 94
14 Jul 10
12 Aug 10
.
Occasionally a planet will appear close (or very close) to the moon in the sky 100
60
X
LUNAR OCCULTATION, STELLAR
.
4 Mar 17
.
Antares, Regulus, Aldebaran and Spica lie close to ecliptic - moon occasionally passes in front of one of them 100
61
X
LUNAR OCCULTATION, PLANETARY
13 Aug 12

Telescopic
7 Dec 15
.
Occasionally the moon passes in front of one of the planets 100
62
X
ECLIPTIC
.
11 Aug 10
.
The sun, moon, and planets make a straight line across the sky - the plane of our solar system 100
63
X
ORION THE HUNTER
17 Mar 94

2 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
Constellation really looks like a human figure; three evenly spaced stars are his belt 100
64
X
BETELGEUSE
17 Mar 94

3 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
Orion the Hunter's left shoulder is a red giant star, bright and pink to the eye 100
65
X
ORION NEBULA
17 Mar 94

14 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
Look for diffuse patch in the middle of the sword handing from the hunter's belt 100
66
X
SIRIUS
.
8 Aug 10
.
Brightest star in the night sky rises after Orion 100
67
X
SUMMER TRIANGLE
12 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
Deneb, Vega, and Altair form a triangle visible in evening all summer 100
68
X
WINTER HEXAGON
.
27 Sep 10
.
Sirius, Procyon, Pollux, Capella, Aldebaran, and Rigel form a large hexagon on winter evenings 100
69
X
HYADES
5 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
The "V" shaped open cluster in the face of Taurus the Bull; Aldebaran is the bright star among them 100
70
X
PLEIADES
3 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
Tight cluster of 6 or 7 bright blue stars in the form of a miniature dipper 100
71
X
OMEGA CENTAURI
29 Jan 12
29 Jan 12
.
Globular cluster looks like a fuzzy patch to the naked eye; telescope shows individual stars 100
72
X
BIG DIPPER
17 Mar 94

11 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
Body and tail of Ursa Major, the big bear. Close to Polaris in the northern sky 100
73
X
ARC TO ARCTURUS
11 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
Follow the curve of Big Dipper's handle to a bright star: Arcturus in Bootes 100
74
X
SPEED ON TO SPICA
11 Jul 10
18 Aug 10
.
Continue to curve past Arcturus to another bright star: Spica in Virgo 100
75
X
BIG DIPPER DOUBLE STAR
17 Mar 94

12 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
The star where the Big Dipper's handle bends, Mizar, has a faint companion. Good test of vision 100
76
X
BIG DIPPER POINTER STARS
17 Mar 94

12 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
Follow the last two stars in the bucket to find Polaris, the North Star 100
77
X
POLARIS
11 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
The North Star, the axis of the sky as the earth turns 100
78
X
LITTLE DIPPER
4 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
In constellation Ursa Minor, the Little Bear. Extends from Polaris; a lot fainter than the Big Dipper 100
79
X
CASSIOPEIA
11 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
In the shape of a broken 'W.' Close to Polaris in the northern sky. 100
80
X
CYGNUS THE SWAN
12 Jul 10
11 Aug 10
.
This cross-shaped constellation really looks like a long-necked bird in flight. 100
81
X
LEO THE LION
11 Dec 10
04 Mar 11
.
Sickle shape forms the lion's mane; bright star Regulus is lion's heart 100
82
X
SCORPIUS
17 Mar 94

11 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
Constellation really looks like a scorpion; bright star Antares is the scorpion's heart 100
83
X
ANTARES, THE RIVAL OF MARS
17 Mar 94

11 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
The red giant star in Scorpius is sometimes close to Mars and they look the same: bright and pink
17 Aug 10: 1° below Moon: Cloudy :(
100
84
X
SAGITTARIUS
17 Mar 94

11 Jul 10
15 Aug 10
.
The teapot asterism (in Sagittarius) is distinctive in the southern sky on summer nights 100
85
X
MILKY WAY
4 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
Our galaxy seen edge on and from within a spiral arm; this faint band crossing the sky is the combined light of millions of stars 100
86
X
CENTER OF OUR GALAXY
4 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
Look at the "steam" cloud above the teapot's spout...that's the direction of the center of the Milky Way 100
87
X
ANDROMEDA GALAXY
4 Aug 10
15 Aug 10
.
Faint patch of light is one of farthest things visible to the naked eye...over two million light years away 100
88
X
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER
.
13 Aug 10
AUG 12-13
AUGUST 12-13 EACH YEAR. Between midnight and dawn lie on a blanket or lawn chair and look up 100
89
.
LEONID METEOR SHOWER
.
.
NOV 17-18
NOVEMBER 17-18 EACH YEAR. Between midnight and dawn lie on a blanket or lawn chair and look up 100
90
.
GEMINID METEOR SHOWER
.
.
DEC 13-14
DECEMBER 13-14 EACH YEAR. After 9 P.M. lie on a blanket or lawn chair and look up 100
91
X
SPORADIC METEORS
.
4 Aug 10
.
Random "shooting stars" or "falling stars" can be seen any night of the year. Make a wish! 100
92
X
BOLIDE / FIREBALL
.
3 Jul 11
.
Random high-visiblity "shooting stars" or "falling stars" makes a spectacular sight and creates just as spectacular of a memory! 100
93
.
ASTEROIDS
.
.
APRIL 13, 2029
Usually too faint to see, but on APRIL 13, 2029 Asteroid 2004 MN4 will make a close naked-eye pass for Europe, Africa, and West Asia
Vesta is on the fringe of naked-eye visibility summer 2011 so I may get to glimpse it if I can get to a dark-sky site.
50
94
X
ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES
.
18 Sep 10
Photo Page
Artificial satellites look like stars moving steadily across the sky. Check heavens-above.com for visibility
100
95
X
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
6 Apr 10
3 Aug 10
Photo Page
At its brighter magnitudes, the ISS looks like a very bright star or even a bright planet moving steadily across the sky.
Check heavens-above.com or Cal Sky for visibility
100
96
X
IRIDIUM FLARES
12 Jul 10
12 Sep 10
Photo Page
Flash that lasts several seconds, like a slow meteor. Check heavens-above.com for visibility
100
97
X
ROCKET TRAILS
12 Jul 06
25 Sep 10
.
Launches from Vandenberg or White Sands (Western U.S.) can be seen from hundreds of miles away; likewise for Kennedy Space Center or other worldwide launch sites. Dependent on various factors such as weather, rocket fuel used, time of day, etc. among others 100
98
X
COMETS
.
12 Mar 13
.
Every year or so one reaches naked-eye visibility. Even rarer are bright "great" comets: like Hale-Bopp 100
99
X
WHOLE SKY
4 Aug 10
13/14/15
Aug 10
.
Find a wide open space and look at the dome of the sky...the sky is an infinite sphere centered on you 100
100
X
ALL-NIGHT SKY
13/14
Aug 10
14/15
Aug 10
.
Stay up all night and watch the sky change as the earth turns 100
#
Ob?
Extra Credit Phenomena
Historical
Observation
Recent
Observation
Future Event
(for me)
Description
Odds
101
.
FALL ASLEEP WHILE SKY WATCHING
.
.
.
Make your bed under the open sky, lie back, look at the stars, close your eyes and dream of infinity 100
102
X
VAPOR TRAIL SHADOW CAUSED BY A HIGH-ALTITUDE PLANE
22 Oct 07
17 Aug 10
.
These shadows are fairly common, you just have to be looking in the right spot to see them
Can either be projected against clouds or "hanging" in a blue sky
100
103
X
EARTH'S SHADOW
29 May 99

1 Sep 10

19 Sep 10
.
Twilight Wedge of shadow cast by the earth at sunrise and sunset 100
104
X
SPACE LAUNCH
28 Mar 83
29 Sep 13
.
Observe a professional launch of a satellite or space crew 100
105
X
SOUTHERN CROSS
.
24 Jul 16
.
Crux - the Southern Cross constellation. Best seen from southern latitudes...visible from lower northern latitudes 100
106
X
MAGELLANIC CLOUDS
.
27 Jul 16
.
Neighboring irregular dwarf galaxies best seen from southern latitudes...visible from far lower northern latitudes 100
107
X
COALSACK DARK NEBULA
.
27 Jul 16
.
Most dominant "dark nebula" visible in our skies. Best seen from southern latitudes...visible from lower northern latitudes 100
108
X
MIDNIGHT SUN
24 May 15
.
.
"Summer" sun never sets at high latitudes - irregardless of North or South Pole. 100
109
.
AURORA AUSTRALIS
.
.
.
Southern Lights - colorful emissions of photons in the upper atmosphere 25
110
.
.
.
.
.
.