The Sun will be at it's furthest annual distance from the Earth next Monday afternoon - 94,506,507 miles.
Glorious Lamp of Heaven
Our region reached the maximum hours of daylight for the year yesterday. We lose two seconds today; a minute by the end of the week, and Sunday is the latest sunset.
If we lived on a planet that orbited a lone star outside of a galaxy, a starless night sky would be possible. Now astronomers have discovered not just three stars but 3 extra-galactic supernovae. Alone, and with no other stars within maybe 300 light...
Meet The Family
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is closing in on Pluto. Ahead of the July 14th close approach; astronomers recently learned more about the chaotic motions and odd shapes of the dwarf planet’s moons. Following the fly-by, New Horizons will head to the...
Looking For Life In All The Right Places
NASA plans to send a three-year orbital mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa as early as 2022. It’s at the top of the list of most likely places in the solar system to find life. It has a salty liquid water ocean, may have organics, definitely has a heat...
500,000 quasars (quasi-stellar radio sources) have been detected – including 100 binaries, two triples, and now – one quad. A quasar is a compact region in the center of a massive galaxy surrounding a central supermassive black hole. A grouping of two...
The dwarf planet Pluto will be visited by New Horizons this summer; the pressure is on to develop alternative launch services following Soyuz' recent failed attempt to reach orbit; Wednesday thru Saturday, a waxing crescent moon slides by Venus first,...
NASA Retools Its Website
NASA's Messenger spacecraft made a scheduled crash onto the surface of Mercury and NASA's rebuilt website - now oriented towards imagery and social media. It's a reflection of the changing nature of NASA's understanding of what audience it must appeal...
May Day Alert!
This Friday, May 1st is a cross-quarter day - halfway between the first day of spring and the first day of summer. It's a day that has been marked by festivals and celebrations for centuries. The month of April is filled with outer space...
Come One, Come All: No Telescope Needed
Friday marks the 5th Annual city-wide Astronomy Night, which is the first event of the 2015 Philadelphia Science Festival.
Rings, Centaurs, and Known Science
Centaurs - non-planetary objects with rings; seeing, and knowing, the universe; spring constellations dominate the sky now.
Shedding Light on Dark Matter
Newly discovered dwarf galaxies orbiting our Milly Way may offer opportunities to gain insight about so-called dark matter (the invisible 'stuff' holding galaxies together) as part of the ongoing Dark Energy Survey.
Fastest star in the west (or east, north and south)
US 708 now holds the speed record for extragalactic stars; total lunar eclipse on Saturday; the night sky this week.
NASA Success Story Celebrates Silver Anniversary
25 years of Hubble Space Telescope operations; First photo of the moon; and Werner von Braun's birthday.
Water, Water (Almost) Everywhere
A total solar eclipse is available to be seen; Water is detected at more and more sites in the solar system; A new moon means dark skies.
Meetings at The Jet Propulsion Lab last week indicate that a major reason why NASA is pursuing landing on Mars is to protect human existence from disaster that could arise an asteroid collision in the future or any other calamity that might jeopardize...
Busy ramp-up at International Space Station; both Russian and SpaceX Dragon resupply craft made deliveries recently in advance of two astronauts arriving next month with the goal of spending an entire year in space.
Calendar offers hints of spring
Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday mark the start of Lent, heading toward spring which is now just over 4 weeks away. Yesterday was Galileo's Birth Anniversary; Copernicus was born 4 days later but 90 years earlier. John Glenn's historic orbital flight...
A perfect pair for Valentine’s Day
Head out of doors in the evening on Valentine's Day to observe "a perfect pair" -- Venus and Mars in the west right after sunset, Jupiter in the eastern evening sky at the same time and then Saturn in the pre-dawn sky. Today is the 44th anniversary of...
Oldies & goodies
The oldest planets ever discovered in our Milky Way have been around 11.2 billion years! Kepler 444 has identified five Venus-sized rocky bodies revolving around a star (smaller than our sun) around 117 light years away. Water on Vesta?
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