Category Archives: Astronomy

A Few Space Things

Another Carnival of Space, the 303rd, is up. They linked my post on planets from last week. I’ve been keeping up with the Astronomy Picture of the Day. I hope you have that site bookmarked for a daily read. I’ve … Continue reading

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Transits and Other Close Encounters

Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter align low in the Western sky this weekend. If your skies and horizon are clear, you can check a solar system triangle that shifts evening to evening. This conjunction got me thinking … how close do … Continue reading

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Space Carnival 302

Steve Nerlich hosts Carnival number 302 (not 203) at his site, Cheap Astronomy. I’d like to get into the routine of more astronomy posts. Without repeating what other bloggers are doing. Jeez, the Catholic sites are all hitting the MR3 … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Are We Being Watched?

I just finished Paul Murdin’s 2013 book, Are We Being Watched? The subtitle gives it away as a science book, not conspiracy theory: The Search for Life in the Cosmos. An astronomer pens a book that amasses planetary science, geology, … Continue reading

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Satellite Imagination: Pioneer’s Near Miss

In 1961, UCLA grad student Michael Minovitch (image here) figured out the gravity assist maneuver for space travel. The young mathematician, working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), crunched some numbers. And the numbers showed that if a rocket was aimed … Continue reading

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Astro Ramadan

I see that Muslims in France have adopted an astronomical start to Ramadan, rather than believe their eyes on that first crescent moon in the western sky. Muslim scientists have been arguing for using astronomy to  determine Islamic dates for … Continue reading

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Carnival of Space 293

They threw my book review into the 293rd Carnival of Space. The first 290 are linked here. Most of them, anyway.

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On My Bookshelf: Understanding Variable Stars

As years pass, various interests wax and wane in astronomy. Some might says fads come and go. Early in the 20th century, there’s big interest for finding that second Earth–a blue and green planet somewhere in the universe where maybe aliens like … Continue reading

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Carnival of Space 290

I used to contribute sporadically to blog carnivals. But they seemed to have disappeared mostly, at least from the Catholic bloggerhood. Or the hoods I visit regularly to occasionally. That would be an interesting phenomenon to study. But another day. … Continue reading

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The Brightest Stars

I’ve been reading quite a bit in 2013, including some books on astronomy. In the next few weeks, I’ll take a look at some volumes currently on my bookshelf and assess them for readability by the general public, for amateur … Continue reading

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Once-In-A-Century Fireball

Universe Today has amazing video footage from many sources of the meteor’s encounter with Russia. This might convince a few doubters it’s a very good idea to track as much space stuff as we possibly can.

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Tau Ceti Musings: Interstellar Obsolescence

With the discovery of five planets orbiting the star Tau Ceti, does this mean all the sf literature on that system is now obsolete? My take is that Asimov, Clarke, Niven, and others will eventually pass into the realm of … Continue reading

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Advent Lectionary: The Cosmology of Psalm 72

The psalm for Advent’s first Tuesday is the 72nd. It appears prominently on Epiphany, but we get a daytime preview of it on the third Mass of Advent. What do you make of the cosmology implied in verse 7? Justice … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Martian Summer

I just finished Andrew Kessler’s Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission. This book gives a peppy, irreverent, and informative inside view of the 2008 mission to the polar region of Mars. … Continue reading

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Note The Moon’s Movements

Did you catch the full moon last night with Jupiter as a “punctuation mark” just above it? Over Iowa, the king of planets was almost washed out in the moonlight and hazy sky in the east last night. Today’s Astronomy … Continue reading

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