Free Astronomy Magazine – May-June 2021 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Above: No doubt saving the hi-def cameras for the bigger chassis. Ingenuity's shadow as captured during its second official flight (taken too late for issue inclusion). [NASA/JPL-Caltech]

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (May-June 2021) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at

Yet another Mars 2020 mission success that cut uncomfortably close to the submission and translation deadline for the magazine, and humbled yet again by its inclusion as the cover story (although the mission probably had something to do with it).

Point of fact, this issue is unique in that both sides of my parents' families also have some level of contribution to featured articles. For Ingenuity, this connection comes from my mother's side, where my Aunts Anglia and Shelly both work for AeroVironment, one of the component manufacturers. As for the two articles about M87, my genius (not used lightly) cousin George Wong, A.B.D. was a contributing researcher to the first study, including the imaging of the supermassive black hole at its center.

Theo's hairs no longer standing on end as the successful first flight is announced by JPL Project Manager MiMi Aung on

The second of the two articles, "How to measure the relativistic jet of M87," is an interesting combination of imaging and straightforward math by authors Aniceto Porcel and Miguel Sánchez to obtain a quality estimate of a feature that any equipped amateur astronomer could manage to capture photons of. The ALPO now has its own exoplanet division – if amateurs can detect and monitor exoplanets from their backyards (one almost giggles at the thought of how fast the community has adopted and adapted to advancements in optics and detectors), something as blindingly bright as the relativistic jets from a number of known candidates should be an easy catch for a future imaging and dimensional estimate award.

Browser-readable version:

Jump to the PDF download (12.7 MB): May-June 2021

Barefoot Astronomer Shares Passion With Stargazers (Bob Piekiel, That Is)

Above: a fish-eye long-exposure of semi-clear skies at Baltimore Woods during a Bob Piekiel-hosted Perseid Meteor Shower session, 12 August 2013.

Well Bob, at least they found you handy.

From the "it's my website and I'll blog what I want to" department – random appearance of an article about Bob Piekiel appeared in my feed recently from the TheNewsHouse Article Archive (The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University). The original post was from late September, 2015 around the time of the last really impressive lunar eclipse we had in our area (also originally shared on the CNYO website).

Official link:

And the quote still stands:

“He’s the greatest exponent to amateur astronomy Central New York has,” Allis said. “Our community could certainly use a few more Barefoot Bobs running around.”

It also reminds me that the old website name used to be something like, which was an excellent idea.