Moderator: Mary Anderson Mary  Anderson

Through the Clouds

Through the clouds

Through The Clouds, a Google group and SAS discussion forum, is a great place to find and interact not only with other SAS members but also with astronomers from around the world! There is no need to be a SAS member to join, though.  Membership in Through the Clouds is open to all humans on Planet Earth with no requirement to live in Seattle or to join the Seattle Astronomical Society. (SAS)  To join this discussion group, click on the Through the Clouds link above, and you will be taken to the registration page.  After you become a Through the Clouds group member, clicking on the link will take you to the discussion page.  



What's New in Through the Clouds Discussion?

Possible Northern Lights:  In reaction to recent media, predictions of possible Aurora or Northern Lights appearances this week (Sept.-Oct. 2020), discussion offered tips for best local areas for observation, mainly east of the Cascade Mountains.  We hope that any of our excellent astrophotographeres who capture a Northern Lights episode will share the images here! (September/October 2020)

Betelgeuse Is Back!:  Last February a post was entitled: "Betelgeuse Has Bottomed Out," describing its extreme dimming.  Now the Hubble Space Telescope is showing that the dimming was caused by an immense amount of hot material ejected into space which then became a dust cloud, obscuring the star.  Now Betelgeuse is brightening to again become the bright star it was or maybe to be a supernova!  Check the discussion pages for more information! (August 2020)

The Trifid and Lagoon Nebulae in Saggitarius:  Two more outstanding images posted by Leonard on Flickr may be seen by clicking this link:   (August 2020)

Ephemeris Shared by Billy at the August 26, 2020 SAS Members' Meeting:  At the online Members' Meeting and also on the Through the Clouds discussion page, SAS member Billy shared his ephemeris for observing that he created many years ago. Go to the discussion page to read his comments and use this link to view his ephemeris: (August 2020)

Summer Observational Sharing Meeting:  The SAS President just announced an online, membership meeting for this Wednesday, August 26, 2020, entitled "Summer Observational Sharing."  It will be an informal gathering and chance for members to share what they have been observing and photographing along with plans for the future.  He asked if anyone has anything he or she might want to prepare in advance to share? You could post that here or send an email to  Check the discussion page here and/or the SAS Web site for the URL for admission to this meeting.  (August 26, 2020)

Three Outstanding Nebulae Images:  Leonard has posted on the discussion page outstanding images of three great nebulae: the North America, the Pelican, and the Reflection Nebulae, which are overhead in the constellation Cygnus now.  Check these out on the discussion page.  Here is the link to the North American and Pelican Nebulae:  Here is the link to Leonard's photograph of the Reflection Nebula:   (August 2020)

Perseid Meteor Shower Peak, August 11 and 12, 2020:  Although Seattle sky was quite cloudy on the peak nights, clear sky was available for those who traveled to Eastern Washington and observed from the Cle Elum area, especially on August 12..  See the Through the Clouds dissussion page for some interesting accounts of Perseid observing.

The Mast Portal:  The Mast Portal offers a way to access data from space telescopes!  All of the data is available in FITS and other formulas depending on the individual telescopic source of the data.  Read more on Through the Clouds. (August 2020)

The North American and Pelican Nebulae:   Read two members' discussion of assistance with astrophotography of the of two challenging objects: The North Amercan and Pelican Nebulae, seen here in images photographed by Leonard.   (August 2020)

The Perseid Meteor Shower:  The potentially best meteor shower of the year will peak this week on August 11 into August 12. The moon that often runs interference will not be absent, but will rise later in its waning, gibbous phase, so some Perseids may be visible before moonrise. From my experience, I would say that the Perseid Shower often peaks later in the night, and some years I have seen most meteors in the week after the official peak.  That may be because the Delta Aquarids tend to be active through most of August although the Delta Aquarids' peak  nights last July 28 and July 29 were very unremarkable this year, at least from the Northwest. (NASA says that the Delta Aquarids are more visible from southern latitudes.)  Anyway, 'tis the season for many meteors, so find a dark sky, sit back, relax, and check out those meteors!  (August 2020)

Thanks to the many members who shared their experience with the 2020 Perseids!  Read their reports by joining Through the Clouds!

Star Cluster M15:  Leonard has shared another of his great images for our inspiration and enjoyment: Star Cluster  M 15. Go to the group discussion to read Leonard's comments and to use the link to view the great image.  Or if you are not a TTC member, click on the link below to view the image and become a member by clicking on the link above or below.  (July 2020) See M15:

Comet Neowise:  After dominating discussion here in our Through the Clouds group, the bright Comet Neowise is now moving away from earth for a 6,800 year absence.  If you are a member or become a member of this discussion group, you will be able to read the many informative messages about this comet, written by our  accomplished astronomer ,members. (July 2020)

Alpha Capricornid and Delta Aquarid Meteor Showers: Double Meteor Showers will appear on one night: tonight!  Beginning July 28 and extending into morning hours of July 29, these two showers bring a possibility of fireballs.  For more information, see the message posted on July 26.  (July 2020)