Savor what’s left of summer09/15/14
Autumnal Equinox arrives at 10:29 pm Monday, 9/22. Since it takes quite a bit of time for water to heat up, it also takes a long time for it to cool so the ocean at the shore is still pretty warm even though the season's changed and the air temps are...
Hooray for the Harvest Moon!
Wednesday's full moon is this year's Harvest Moon - way out ahead of Autumnal Equinox by 14 days. Next is Hunters' Moon in October. Jupiter and Venus still have the pre-dawn sky in the East; Mars and Saturn still have the evening sky in the Southwest.
99 + 44/100ths% pure
For the first time - scientists have identified a second generation star - one made up of the remnants of the earliest stars ever. The spectrogram shows that the proportion of elements that make up the star is skewed toward a lack of heavy elements.
One small year for a Mars rover…
The Mars Rover Curiosity has spent now one Martian year on Mars (which equals two Earth years), traveled 5.5 miles and taken over 178,000 pictures - available online! Here's your chance to name a crater on Mars - for a donation to advance astronomy...
Dog days retrieve longer nights
Close planet conjunction - Jupiter and Venus very close in tomorrow's pre-dawn sky . Watch the moon slide down to join them this week. Closest on Saturday morning. Saturn and Mars still show in the evening twilight - This week watch Mars slide...
Time to pursue the Perseids
The annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaks early this week. The Rosetta spacecraft, now in orbit around Comet Churyumov-Gerisimenko after a 10 years, 4 billion mile journey, will drop a lander in November to sample and test for organic molecules
Let it gush, let it gush, let it gush
Count of geysers seen on Saturn's moon Enceladus up to over 100 - No question about composition of jets, definitely water as we know it. A question now of how far down they come from.
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’ slippin’ …
Amount of daylight is slowly receding. . . Sunset was at 8:33, now it's 8:22; Sunrise is 5:52, was 5:33. We'll really feel the change in August, so enjoy it now. Friday Aug.1 is a cross-quarter day - Lammas. United Arab Emirates Plans Mission to Mars...
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie – that’s a supermoon!
Supermoon? - Ridiculous! Invented by Astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. Difference in size between these full moons and other full moons is less than 2%. You cannot see the difference. The moon looks especially large when it rises at full phase because...
A wrinkle in the fabric of space-time
Orbital Carbon Observatory-2- now in orbit will help scientists better understand Earth's carbon cycle, identifying natural and manmade sources and sinks of CO2 with great precision.
Look aloft July 4th … and 5th!
Cassini Celebrates its 10th year at Saturn – will continue to explore until 2017 when it’ll plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere. Franklin Institute's Fels Planetarium captures two international awards. Delaware Valley Astronomical Association Star Party...
“And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes . . .”
Penn State Astronomers figure out why near side and far side of the moon are so different - front side, maria: large smooth areas we call 'seas'; they make the eyes of "the man in the moon". When moon was formed, the two became tidally locked and the...
Set your sights on the 6:51 a.m. Saturday Summit
Summer Solstice. Sun at Solar Max - although it's one of the most minimal maxes seen in decades. Cycles last 9- 14 years. Producing lots of eruptions right now and the downslope can produce some of the most energetic activity. NASA has started -...
Time for an equasion
The Equasion of Time is coming (solar noon = clock noon) - Derrick explains. Cast your net; a design is already in place for an out-of-this world system to collect and dispose of the bits and pieces of space junk. Night sky offers viewing...
The answer is blowin’ in the wind
Following the failure of a position stabalizer, the Kepler Planet Hunter satellite has been successfully re-oriented - by using solar wind! Live from On orbit! It's the Earth from space! In a new experiment with HD video NASA now broadcasts a live...
We are family
Sun's sibling identified - HD 162826 is 100 light years away, 15% more massive than our sun, found in Hercules not far from Vega. Used spectroscopy to study the chemistry of the star then dynamics. Many more siblings need to be identified to determine...
We’re on a road to nowhere …
Scientists can now reliably calculate that the universe is expanding symetrically, thanks to data from very big radio telescopes and very big optical scopes. Galaxies are growing further and further away from each other. Cracks in US/Russian space...
Will NASA say ‘nyet’ to joint plans with Russia?
NASA curtails operations with Russia - most recent announcement exempts 'big-ticket items' like ISS cooperation, but covers any other collaborative ventures such as travel to Russia/US, visits to facilities, conferences, telecons, etc. Next Russian...
Help wanted: Asteroid nudging notions needed
NASA crowd-sourcing for ideas on how to bring an asteroid into lunar orbit. Open to companies, universities, non-profits. Intent is to bring back all or part of an asteroid for study in lunar orbit by 2020 as practice for deep space missions....
Is ours THE universe … or A universe?
New data collected at South Pole indicates light polarized in a way that can only be caused by gravity waves that were specifically predicted to have been generated by inflation of the universe just after the Big Bang... One of the most interesting...
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