From: Paul Geary, ENN
Published September 28, 2005 12:00 AM

ENN Presents Autumn 'Sky Tour' Podcast

For the second time this year, ENN is bringing you a very special presentation: Sky Tour, a personal tour of the night sky, hosted by ENN publisher Jerry Kay and featuring Bing Quock of the Morrison Planetarium at the California Academy of Sciences as your tour guide.

This is not an ordinary broadcast. ENN's Sky Tour is fascinating to listen to anywhere, but is designed to be downloaded as a podcast so that you can bring it with you and follow the tour. Just download the Sky Tour into your iPod or MP3 player, and bring it with you to a place that isn't cluttered with local light pollution. Listen to and follow the tour, and you'll see constellations, and be able to identify galaxies and starts without the aid of a sky chart.

You can link to the podcast here: ENN Sky Tour

This second incarnation of Sky Tour gives you a view of the fall sky, and is oriented to the northern mid-latitudes; in other words, primarily people in the U.S. It's designed for beginners, so most of the stars that Quock will feature are among the more prominent. You might try listening to the broadcast with a star chart for perspective if you'd like, but it's certainly not necessary. You'll easily be able to follow along with the tour without one.

Quock takes us first to one of the most visible objects in the night sky just after sunset, low in the southwest. It's not a star, however, it's the planet Venus. A dense atmosphere gives it the appearance of brightness in the sky. On certain days, the moon passes close to Venus, making a good pairing in the twilight.


Constellations were devised by the ancients to explain worldly things, and were considered divine. You've probably heard of many constellations, and you probably know that many of them don't really look like what they've been named after, making them hard to identify. Simple shapes made of bright stars after dark are known as asterisms, and are easier to spot. After sunset, if you look overhead, you'll find the three stars of the summer triangle (which is actually still very visible in fall), shaped somewhat like an arrowhead. It points somewhat toward the south and is one of the brightest sets of stars early in the night.

This is just the very beginning of your tour of the sky; Sky Tour takes you across much more of the fall spectrum of stars, planets, galaxies, and constellations. Listen to, or better yet, download the broadcast and let Bing Quock's expertise make your stargazing really special.

Sky Tour is brought to you in conjunction with the California Academy of Sciences. You can get great information about the Academy at its website here:, and about the Morrison Planetarium at its website here:

We want to know what you think about the Sky Tour podcast, and we'd like to hear from you about how we can make ENN as informative and useful as it can be. We'd also like to hear suggestions about how we can make the latest multimedia technologies (such as podcasting) that we're presenting on ENN even better. E-mail ENN at

Related Link:
ENN's Spring Sky Tour

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