Telescopes are used to make distant objects seem closer. To do that, they need to magnify the image. More is better, right? The use of magnification in visual astronomy is often misunderstood by both beginning and even experienced observers. Here we will discuss not just how much to use, but how to use it.

Click here to watch Mount Dinosaur, the fictional story about creatures living in the shadow of Mount Dinosaur. Okay, I made this just for fun. It's a short film for younger viewers, but who doesn't like a story about dinosaurs anyway?

For most of the history of our planet, Earth would have been a strange and inhospitable place. If we could travel back to an earlier period, we might be surprised for find the surface frozen, molten,  or  devoid of life. We might find the days shorter, the Moon closer, and the air unbreathable. It would be like landing on an alien planet, a planet called Alien Earth.

The Oldest Show on Earth

Eclipses are a special type of astronomical phenomena. Observed and recorded from antiquity to the present, they remain one of the few sights in astronomy that regularly capture the attention of the general public. 

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From 1-9 March, 2019, we went to explore ancient and modern Egypt, while looking for signs of the Oldest Show on Earth. Here is a summary of what we found along the banks of the Nile.

Collecting data for an astro-image while observing some familiar Messier objects with binoculars. Note the suspicious looking clouds drifting near my intended target (2015).


There are many ancient monuments that were built with an astronomical purpose. However, not all were made of stone. Here is one that lies only a few miles outside of St. Louis, Missouri. It is an intriguing reminder of ancient astronomy in the New World.

What is it like to view through the largest refracting telescope in the world? This personal account details an observing session on July 2nd, 2018. 

The articles shared on this page were all written by myself, drawing on over twenty years experience as a visual observer and more recently as an astrophotographer. My intention is to share some of this experience and provide a useful resource for others. While most of the information will not be cited to specific sources, it is drawn form either multiple readily available resources or derived from my own experience. Any readers who find discrepancies are encouraged to contact me so that I can bring the most up-to-date information to the Oldest Show on Earth.