With Halloween this week, it is a great time to look at some stars that 'dress up' and change their appearance - though many of them do it quite regularly! Check out several easy-to-spot stars in Cepheus the King that are variable in nature, along with one that has a binary companion that's split in most any small telescope.
Check out Chart #1 for a star map you can download of the Cepheus region.
The AAVSO guide to Delta Cephei.
Want to see some other fascinating things in the night sky with a small telescope or binoculars? Check out some of the recent Eyes on the Sky astronomy videos.
Handheld devices users: To navigate Eyes on the Sky more easily, see the Site Map here.
Linked in to any social media sites? Eyes on the Sky is there too - please follow, like and most importantly share/retweet Eyes on the Sky videos so we can educate about both the night sky AND light pollution issues:
Eyes on the Sky astronomy videos are now closed captioned, allowing for translation into 58 languages as well as benefiting people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Or, watch at work! (Just don't tell your boss.)
I talk about dark sky friendly lighting fixtures a lot - I mention them in most every video, in fact. But what are they? Find various types of dark sky friendly lighting fixtures here, or try these lighting manufacturers - and if you still have trouble locating them, contact me.
NEW AS OF JANUARY 2013: The U.S.-based home improvement store Lowes now carries dark sky friendly lighting with the IDA seal of approval - look for them in your store. Got a neighbor with a light shining in your bedroom or window somewhere in your home? Here's how to approach neighbors about poorly shielded lighting. You can also find the silver-crown light bulbs highlighted in previous "Dark Sky Facts" from these online retailers:
Making "Eyes on the Sky" every week isn't free. Not only do I spend 10 to 12 hours on each 5-6 minute video by the time I research, write, shoot, create graphics, edit and upload each video, but some graphics, music, costumes and other things I add all cost money. So I'd ask one of two things from you: Please either change your own outdoor lights and encourage your neighbors to do the same, or donate a bit towards my efforts to spread the word through these videos. Even as little as $5 helps - yes, really - but what would help more is a monthly subscription of $3 a month. That's only $0.69 an episode! And you don't even need a Paypal account; you can donate or subscribe with any major credit card you see in the button graphic. Thank you - I appreciate your support!
The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Telescopes and Amateur Astronomy
Eyes on the Sky reviews
How to view the Sun safely
Past Eyes on the Sky weekly astronomy videos
Dark skies organizations
International Dark Sky Association
Campaign for Dark Skies (U.K.)
Illinois Coalition for Responsible Outdoor Lighting
Artificial Light at Night Database
Dark Sky Friendly Approved Lighting Fixtures