S T A R * P O I N T S

This is the archive site for the Star Points column published on the 1st Sunday of each month in the Carroll County Times newspaper. The "Times" is printed daily in Westminster, Maryland USA.

Star Points is a popular level astronomy column with interesting facts, tips, and information about observing and understanding the celestial sky which wraps our world in its deep velvet grasp.

The author's dog, Robert (1995-2013), admiring the dog star with his telescope.

The author with two of his telescopes.

The author of Star Points is Curtis Roelle.

This archive contains articles in their original "as submitted" format. To view the edited versions published in the paper, visit Curtis Roelle's Astronomy columns.

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Abbreviated Chronological Archive

2014 Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct     
2013 Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
2012 Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul
Aug  Sep  Oct
Nov  Dec 
2011 Jan Feb  Mar
Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep
Oct  Nov  Dec 
2010 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2009 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
2008 Jan Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec 
2007 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2006 Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2005 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2004 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2003 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2002 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul
Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2001 Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1999 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
1997 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996   Nov

Chronologically By Title

2014 Oct "Two Eclipses in October"
2014 Sep "Comet to Pay Visit at Mars"
2014 Aug "The Great Comet Crash Bash"
2014 Jul "Globular Star Clusters"
2014 Jun "Open or Galactic Star Clusters"
2014 May "May's Parade of Planets"
2014 Apr "April's Total Eclipse of the Moon"
2014 Mar "Roving the Moon and Mars"
2014 Feb "Venus is February?s Morning Star"
2014 Jan "Jupiter in January and Some Tips for New Telescope Owners"
2013 Dec "Will Comet ISON Perform?"
2013 Nov "Comet Surprise?"
2013 Oct "Eclipse at Sunrise"
2013 Sep "From the Beach to the Moon"
2013 Aug "Summer's Best Meteor Shower"
2013 Jul "Planets and a Meteor Shower"
2013 Jun "Siblings of our Sun"
2013 May "Saturn Putting on a Show"
2013 Apr "The Life of Comet Hunter Charles Messier"
2013 Mar "Comet PanSTARRS is Coming!"
2013 Feb "Forgotten Constellations"
2013 Jan "Backyard Astronomy Highlights for 2013"
2012 Dec "Happy Mayan New Year"
2012 Nov "Planets and Meteors for the Month"
2012 Oct no column
2012 Sep "A Cold Summer's Night on a Fourteener"
2012 Aug "Mars Threads the Needle"
2012 Jul no column
2012 Jun "Venus to Transit Sun"
2012 May "Discovery"
2012 Apr "Venus Burning Bright"
2012 Mar "Techniques for Better Viewing"
2012 Feb "Navigating the Celestial Sphere"
2012 Jan "Sky Events for the 2012 New Year"
2011 Dec "Five Planets In December Skies"
2011 Nov "Aquanauts Path Finding for Asteroid Journey"
2011 Oct "Space Junk"
2011 Sep no column
2011 Aug "Solar System's Largest Asteroids Visible in August"
2011 Jul "One Neptunian Year Later"
2011 Jun "Naked Ear Astronomy"
2011 May "Close Encounters in the Morning Sky"
2011 Apr "50-Year Anniversary of Man in Space"
2011 Mar no column
2011 Feb "Year of the Rabbit"
2011 Jan "Can You Find Uranus?"
2010 Dec "Decemberís Total Lunar Eclipse"
2010 Nov "Advice for Telescope Shoppers Coming"
2010 Oct "Scrambling for the Moon"
2010 Sep "Original Global Positioning System"
2010 Aug "Hot Summer Planets"
2010 Jul "Our Hot Summer Sun"
2010 Jun no column
2010 May "Light-Years and Television Waves"
2010 Apr "Space Shuttle Fleet"
2010 Mar "The Big Thaw"
2010 Feb "Some Stars Supernova"
2010 Jan "The Great January Comet"
2009 Dec "Those Awesome Auroras"
2009 Nov "Good Advice for Telescope Buyers"
2009 Oct "The Recent Hubble Telescope Makeover"
2009 Sep "Jupiter, an Enabler of Life on Earth"
2009 Aug no column
2009 Jul "Moon Landing 40th Anniversary"
2009 Jun "Planetary Seasons Vary"
2009 May "Anniversary of the Moon Landing Dress Rehearsal"
2009 Apr "Amateur Astronomers: The Next Generation"
2009 Mar "California's Mt. Palomar Observatory"
2009 Feb "Carroll County's Own Public Observatory"
2009 Jan "2009: International Year of Astronomy"
2008 Dec "Lunar Voyage Anniversary"
2008 Nov "Telescopes Sure Are Inexpensive These Days!"
2008 Oct "Shenzhou 7"
2008 Sep "World's Greatest Refracting Telescopes"
2008 Aug "Neptune: Last of the Planets"
2008 Jul "Double Stars"
2008 Jun "Tunguska: One century ago"
2008 May "Mercury: Messenger of Gods"
2008 Apr "Clarke: The Passing of a Visionary Mind"
2008 Mar "March Comes in on a Lion"
2008 Feb "Total Lunar Eclipse Heats Up February Sky"
2008 Jan "Asteroid Bearing Down on Mars"
2007 Dec "Geminid Meteors and a Slowly Fading Comet"
2007 Nov "Leonid Meteor Shower Could Pack a Punch"
2007 Oct "World Space Week Celebrates 50 Years In Space"
2007 Sep "When the Sun Dies So Will the Earth"
2007 Aug "Our 2nd Chance for a Total Lunar Eclipse"
2007 Jul "A Scaled Timeline of the Universe"
2007 Jun "Star Globe"
2007 May "How Big is the Galaxy?"
2007 Apr "How Big is the solar system?"
2007 Mar "2007's Lunar Eclipses and an Upcoming Shuttle Launch"
2007 Feb "The Dog Nights of Winter"
2007 Jan "Shuttle Discovery Launch Observed by Marylanders"
2006 Dec "NASA's Return to Night Flight"
2006 Nov "Rare Mercury Transit and Leonid Meteor Shower"
2006 Oct "Autumn's Celestial Flying Horse"
2006 Sep "Understanding the IAU's Pluto Decision"
2006 Aug "Mercury rising in August"
2006 Jul "Jupiter: Gripped by the Scorpion's Claws"
2006 Jun "Searching for Dark Skies"
2006 May "The 2006 Total Solar Eclipse"
2006 Apr no column
2006 Mar "False Comets Turned Into Sky Gems"
2006 Feb "Pluto Finally Gets Some Respect"
2006 Jan "Spectacular Venus Greets New Year"
2005 Dec "Getting Started in Astronomy for Under $100"
2005 Nov "Declared and Denied Moon Races"
2005 Oct "Planet Mars, Arriving on Track Four!"
2005 Sep "Amateur Astronomers and World Governments Eyeing Fruit Moon"
2005 Aug "Television's Giant Leap to the Moon"
2005 Jul "Space Probe and Comet to Go Bump in the Night"
2005 Jun "This Month's Superior Conjunction of Inferior Planets"
2005 May "Can the Hubble Space Telescope be Saved? - Part 2"
2005 Apr "Odyssey From the Age of Aquarius"
2005 Mar "Can the Hubble Space Telescope be Saved?"
2005 Feb "Use a video camera with your telescope"
2005 Jan "Bright Binocular Comet Heralds the New Year"
2004 Dec "December's Geminid Night Lights"
2004 Nov "Cornucopia of Stars"
2004 Oct "ClearSky Clock Helps Plan Your Observing Session"
2004 Sep "How Light Polluted are Carroll's Skies?"
2004 Aug "Will it Be Clear Tonight?"
2004 Jul "Tune Up Your Telescope"
2004 Jun "Planet Venus to Transit Sun This Week"
2004 May "May's Binocular Comets"
2004 Apr "Leslie Peltier: A stargazer's stargazer"
2004 Mar "The Classic Planets Return"
2004 Feb "Mars: The Dream is Alive - Again"
2004 Jan "Saturn: Wide Open and Downfield"
2003 Dec "New Star Rising in the East"
2003 Nov "This Month's Dark and Frosty Moon"
2003 Oct "Sprirals Near and Far"
2003 Sep "Mars' Curtain Call"
2003 Aug "Mars: Now more than ever"
2003 Jul "Catching Up On Mars"
2003 Jun "Amateur Astronomers Wait Out Clouds"
2003 May "May 15 Total Lunar Eclipse"
2003 Apr "Date of Easter"
2003 Mar "A Digital Astrophotography Primer"
2003 Feb "That Big Round Pizza Pie in the Sky"
2003 Jan "Best Time for Viewing Saturn"
2002 Dec no column
2002 Nov "Signs of Death Among the Stars"
2002 Oct "Come, See the Universe With Your Own Two Eyes"
2002 Sep "Close Encounters of the Dangerous Kind"
2002 Aug "Good Prospects for August's Perseid Meteor Shower"
2002 Jul no column
2002 Jun "Modern Dance of the Classical Planets Continues"
2002 May "Ancient Universe Revealed in May Sky"
2002 Apr "Another Spring Comet for Sky Watchers"
2002 Mar "Sky Treats Closer to Home"
2002 Feb "Lights: Friend and Foe" (guest writer Brian Eney)
2002 Jan "Which Happy New Year?"
2001 Dec "December's Sunset Solar Eclipse"
2001 Nov "Following Venus to Mercury"
2001 Oct "Arab Influence Seen In American Skies"
2001 Sep "Whatever Happened to Carroll's Star Spangled Sky?"
2001 Aug "Titius-Bode: For Planets It's the Law"
2001 Jul "Use the Web for Planning When to Look Up"
2001 Jun "Prominent Mars Arrives On Summer's Coattails"
2001 May no column
2001 Apr "April Marks Forty Years of Manned Space Flight"
2001 Mar "Bright Planets on the March"
2001 Feb "Bright Planets Make Easy Targets"
2001 Jan "Conjunctions of Inner Planets Heat Up Winter Sky"
2000 Dec "Nature's Gift: A Partial Solar Eclipse on Christmas Day"
2000 Nov "East Coast Favored for Leonids Meteor Shower"
2000 Oct "Peeking Behind Iron Curtain of Soviet Space Program"
2000 Sep "Spoiling the Night"
2000 Aug "Sign of the Teapot in Sagittarius"
2000 Jul "Scorpion's Tail Delights Observers"
2000 Jun "Observe Meteors During Daytime Shower June 7"
2000 May "Northern Lights: A rare treat for Marylanders"
2000 Apr "Spring's Mythical and Historical Ladies"
2000 Mar "Parade of Planets Welcome Spring"
2000 Feb "Orion a.k.a. Old Man Winter"
2000 Jan "The End of the Universe As We Know It"
1999 Dec "The End of the World As We Know It"
1999 Nov "Black Drop of Mercury Visible Against Sun"
1999 Oct "Right Stuff Wrong Turn at Mars"
1999 Sep "Would the Real North Star Stand Up?"
1999 Aug "Sunrise To Take Bite Out of Sun"
1999 Jul "The Lion and the Pearl"
1999 Jun "A Star by Any Name Would Shine As Brightly"
1999 May "Evening Stars of Love and War"
1999 Apr "Beehive in the Sky"
1999 Mar "Peering Into The Stellar Nursery"
1999 Feb "Meteorite Primer"
1999 Jan "Celestial Bearings"
1998 Dec "Last Major Meteor Shower of 1998 Tonight"
1998 Nov "Fingers Crossed For Leonid Meteor Shower"
1998 Oct "Harvest Moon Has Company"
1998 Sep "Fall Causes Dipper to Dip"
1998 Aug no column
1998 Jul "Star Light Star Bright"
1998 Jun "Flashers Seen In Westminster"
1998 May "Eye on the Moon"
1998 Apr "Gain Some Lose Some"
1998 Mar "The Day Star" (guest writer Ray Sterner)
1998 Feb "February's Solar Eclipse"
1998 Jan "The Sun is Brighter During Winter"
1997 Dec "What Was Bethlehem's `Star'?"
1997 Nov "Forecast: Increasing Chance of Meteor Storm?"
1997 Oct "Sputnik Turns Forty"
1997 Sep "Action on the Ecliptic and the Harvest Moon"
1997 Aug "Swift Mercury and Crippled Mir Visible in Early Evening (original version"
1997 Aug "Swift Mercury and Crippled Mir Visible in Early Evening (final version)"
1997 Jul "Venus: Identified Flying Object (IFO)"
1997 Jun "Astrology: Skeleton in Astronomy's Closet"
1997 May "Great Bear Springs Into May Sky"
1997 Apr "Classic Comet Remains Visible"
1997 Mar "Spring Brings Comet Fever"
1997 Feb "Mars Approaches"
1997 Jan "1997 is a Good Year to Have a Telescope"
1996 Dec "Looking for a Telescope for Christmas?"
1996 Nov "Amateur Astronomers Enjoy Experience Firsthand"


Star Points Illustrations

The "Summer Triangle" (and double star Albireo) finder chart (July, 2008)

Constellation Sagittarius (August, 2000)

Constellation Scorpius (July, 2000) Solar Eclipse Theater pinhole solar projector (Feb 1998 and Dec 2000)
Venus Transit Theater pinhole solar projector (Jun 2004)
The above articles in this archive are the raw versions submitted for publishing. The final printed versions may have differred due to editing by the newspaper staff. Mostly such changes consisted of correcting typing and grammatical errors, or the removal of certain text for reasons of column space.

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