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Science Thursdays

1st Thursday of the Month

Derrick Pitts

Join Derrick Pitts the First Thursday of each month for a look into deep space! As Chief Astronomer of the Fels Planetarium at the Franklin Institute, Derrick knows his star stuff! Derrick will offer a Skywatch - what to look for in the evening skies during the month and he'll take us on a monthly trip across our Solar System - visiting a different planet every month.

November Links

First one - general sky map:

Next is specific map for Comet ISON:

and finally, the chart for Comet Lovejoy comes from this webpage:

Take A Virtual Trip

There is so much to learn about our Solar System. offers a neat virtual trip to all the planets, comets and more that can be found in our Solar System. Click the Solar System image to the right to take a virtual trip from the comfort of your own home!

Basic Telescope Tips

Choosing a telescope can seem a challenging task for the newcomer to astronomy. There is a bewildering number on the market, with many different names, sizes and decriptions. Essentially, however, they all do the same thing. They act like a large eye to collect lots of light from the distant object being observed and then they magnify it.

There are other instruments that observe different forms of radiation from the universe, such as radio waves, but the observing tools that we are interested in are optical telescopes. Despite the vast choice in the marketplace today, such telescopes come in two basic types - the refractor and the reflector. Variations of the basic forms include hybrids that combine elements from both.

For more information, click the telescope!