Category Archives: Astronomy

Double Comet

When I saw this development–the target of the space probe Rosetta is a double comet–I wondered if this will make landing the probe more difficult. Then I thought about this celestial body, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Will one lobe get named Churyumov … Continue reading

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Squid Nebula, Big Numbers

Interesting new discovery posted on Astronomy Picture of the Day. A faint nebula, maybe 14 quadrillion miles away, and maybe fifty light years long. That’s so big that if the sun were on one end and we were on the other, … Continue reading

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Good Guy Awarded

… and not just because he’s an astronomer and/or a Jesuit. Guy Consolmagno SJ, coordinator for public relations at the Vatican Observatory scored the Carl Sagan Medal. From the awarders: (He) has become the voice of the juxtaposition of planetary science and astronomy with … Continue reading

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Inequalities

Making the case for better science education. 57 equals minus-81.

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Pope Francis Meets The Astronomers

Sounds like a title of a children’s book. But it’s the one sentence descriptor of his encounter with students and faculty from the Vatican Observatory’s School in Astrophysics, a summer school akin to mine here in Omaha. Different topic, is all. … Continue reading

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Camelopardalis: Inside the Spots

I did not stay up to view the rocky debris that appeared to originate from the northern sky the other night. Universe Today has this detailed report from Minnesota. The Camelopardalid meteor shower may be new, but I have known … Continue reading

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I See No Blood Upon The Moon

I hadn’t realized there was such a fuss about this morning’s eclipse. Of course the moon turns red. That’s a good sign: the Earth possesses an atmosphere. A black moon would be trouble–it would mean someone sucked all the air … Continue reading

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Looking Up At Two Crosses

Did you know there are two crosses in Earth’s sky? This image from Astronomy Picture of the Day today captures both of them. But you have to get as far south as Hawaii. We talked about one of the crosses … Continue reading

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Cosmos Episode 4: Telescope as Time Machine

I’m falling behind in regular viewing of the Cosmos reboot with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. My wife and I viewed the 4th episode earlier tonight. Telescope as time machine: very true and accurate premise, but not everybody thinks in this way. … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Dreams of Other Worlds

This is a good tome if you are looking for well-written astronomy books that are comprehensible to the average intelligent reader. (I’m thinking people who are or were comfortable with high school-level science.) Each chapter is devoted to one space mission, … Continue reading

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Great Lake

Yesterday’s big news in astronomy: the positing of a lake under the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Nobody actually saw a lake. Admittedly, it’s a best guess given the data from Cassini’s flights by the small moon. It’s not … Continue reading

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Cosmos Episode 3

I missed the network airing of episode 3. I watched it earlier today. Four is on a bit later tonight. But I might catch that later. A confession: I never watched the Carl Sagan series. I have no reference to … Continue reading

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Astronomy Conference

This looks interesting. The Vatican Observatory Foundation is offering a five-day conference in Tucson next January: What can modern astronomy tell us about creation – and its Creator? Guy Consolmagno, SJ, on it: Our hope is that this can become … Continue reading

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Things That Happened Fast

1. The expansion of the early universe. 2. Newark priest banished to the lay state. The earlier event pumps some life into the cosmology branch of astronomy. Exoplanets were getting a lot of attention. But scientists win the Nobel Prize … Continue reading

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Cosmos, The Next Generation

I’ve been noticing the advance media (like here) on the Cosmos reboot one-third of a century after Carl Sagan popularized astronomy for the tv masses. It’s a good idea. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the right choice to front the show. … Continue reading

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