ISON is getting brighter...

...and still shows no signs of an "impending demise". After a painful 10 day shutdown (as a result of pertinacious cloud cover, which reminds me of my real problem once ISON makes it's perihelion: the terrible northern European weather in December) I managed to image the comet this morning. It looks considerably brighter and bigger than before.


Demystifying my first "UFO"

If you ever wondered why “UFOs” are rarely reported by those who regularly have their eye on the night sky, especially amateur astronomers, here’s why: Most of these “unidentified objects” are well known to us – bright planets, satellites or airplanes, or the infamous “weather balloon”. But when, in very rare cases, experienced observers get to see something “unidentified”, things get interesting. Here's the story of our first “UFO”, and of some able amateurs who managed to demystify it.


Is comet ISON disintegrating – right now?

Discussion if comet C/2012 S1 ISON will survive it’s perihelion started shortly after it's discovery in 2012. It is still well possible that the 5 km wide comet will break apart on November 28, when it almost scratches the solar photosphere. But now, Ignacio Ferrín of the University of Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia, thinks ISON is turning off or breaking up right now, still almost two astronomical units far from the sun. If this holds true, then better say goodbye to the hoped for “comet of the century”. But that might be a little premature.

Welcome to SkyLights!

Here it is, my new blog about astronomy and space science! 

SkyLights is supposed to be the "English issue" of my German blog "Himmelslichter", started back in 2007. As an amateur astromer, amateur astrophotographer, former astrophysicist, I blog about everything that`s interesting about astronomy and space science, no matter if it's amateur astronomy or the "hard" science.

Since 2008 I work as a free-lance science writer. My articles have been published in Sterne und Weltraum, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Sky&Telescope.

I hope you will find some interesting as well as fascinating stuff here. Enjoy!