Jimmy Westlake

Recent Stories

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: Stargazing? Start with the Winter Hexagon

The Winter Hexagon spotlights eight of the 20 brightest stars in earthly skies and makes a superb starting point for backyard astronomers trying to learn their way around the winter sky.

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: Canis Major — the Great Overdog

Sirius rises at about 8 p.m. Christmas Eve and about 30 minutes earlier, or 7:30 p.m., on New Year's Eve. Why not step outside with your family this holiday season and bark with “the Great Overdog that romps through the dark?”

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: Get ready for the Geminid meteor shower

Get ready for the best meteor shower of the year. It’s the Geminid meteor shower, and it could bring as many as 120 shooting stars per hour to our sky.

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: Orion returns

When you see Orion rising in the early evening, you can be certain that the winter snows are not far behind. Welcome back, old friend.

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: Auriga, the Charioteer

What’s that flashy, golden star hovering over the northeastern mountains as darkness falls in late November? It’s Capella, the third-brightest star visible in Colorado skies and the brightest star in the constellation of Auriga, the Charioteer.

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: Looking down on the universe

Our Milky Way is flat, like a pancake made of star batter. It’s a spinning disk of stars about 100,000 light-years across but only 3,000 light-years thick. During the early evenings of late spring, we are positioned so that we can look straight up out of the top of our Milky Way pancake and into the intergalactic space that forms the rooftop of the sky.

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: First comet landing expected Wednesday

If all goes according to plan, a little space probe named Philae will separate from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft late Tuesday and make the first controlled landing on the surface of a comet Wednesday morning.

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: See autumn’s trio of triangles

Nestled in between the constellations of Andromeda, Perseus and Pisces is a delightful little trio of stellar triangles, visible on crisp November evenings. Each triangle has an interesting history, all its own.

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: Watch for Halloween fireballs

Don’t be surprised if you see a blazing fireball or two streaking across the heavens while you are out trick-or-treating this Halloween season. There’s no reason for alarm. It’s just the annual Taurid meteor showers reaching their peak of activity.

Tease photo

Jimmy Westlake: Partial solar eclipse coming Thursday

Thursday’s eclipse begins at about 3:20 p.m. when the moon will take the first little “bite” out of the solar disk. Maximum eclipse is at 4:35 p.m.

More stories