Category Archives: Astronomy

A Christmas Star

The Christmas movie channels could hire me as a science consultant on scripts. My wife and I watched an otherwise enjoyable holiday flick tonight. I outlined to the young miss my problems with the science, none of which really impacted … Continue reading

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Satellite Imagination: Ravioli, Anyone?

The advent of orbiter missions to the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn have enabled astronomers to get detailed looks at moons that, in the view of earthbound telescopes, look like little white dots. When a white dot gets too close … Continue reading

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Fake Noon Coming To My State

I see Minnesota politicians agree on one more clock change in 2022, then stop the falling back and springing forward. Sleep disruption beckons for oppressed US inhabitants again this weekend. It’s not as bad as the forced early waking and … Continue reading

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Dressing For Halloween

Some Christians fuss about the 31st of October. I don’t recall this being a thing until this century. Maybe it was in the 60s, but my parents were rather overprotective. We got those suffocating plastic masks and assembled sugary loot … Continue reading

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Minor Planet Ratzinger

As of today, there are over one million identified minor planets (aka asteroids) in the solar system. Not many are named after Christian figures. Pagan names abound, as you might expect. There are a few saints. And one pope, though … Continue reading

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Two Iron Rain Planets

That news item on iron rain some days ago got me thinking. Two crude images of what those planets might look like. They probably need to glow a bit more. Of course, there are other possible explanations for the chemical … Continue reading

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Lucy And The Trojans

          No, not them. A new NASA mission that was flying under my radar launches next week. “Lucy” derives from the fossil human ancestor dug up in Africa last century, and the Trojans are a group … Continue reading

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Iron Rain

They tell you that this rain can sting and look down … When I read this astronomy report, I was thinking of this song, a favorite from the 80s. I don’t know that iron vapor or liquid droplets are red. … Continue reading

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Bepi Colombo Reaches Mercury

The Japan/Europe probe to Mercury has made its first flyby of the solar system’s smallest planet almost three years into the mission. It is surprisingly difficult to reach Mercury; there are still more than four years before the main phase … Continue reading

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Don’t Slip And Fall Here

Orbiting from above, space probes have located openings to a vaster underground on both the moon, and above, Mars. This scene (By NASA, JPL, U. Arizona – https://science.nasa.gov/download/file/fid/89311, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87679776) is to be found on the slopes of one … Continue reading

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All Eyes On Jupiter

Literally. Amateur astronomers all over the world, most all the time, it seems. Citizen (full-in-the-blank). Dislike that term. Citizen Journalist. Citizen Researcher. Citizen Kane. Citizen Mind-Your-Own-Business. I don’t mind calling myself an amateur astronomer. Or at least I did before … Continue reading

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Vatican Observatory In Silver

It’s not exactly a coin, as it has no denomination. (But how else could I categorize this piece, above?) I was struck by this medal from the wiki summary on the Vatican Observatory. Image credit: By Rc 13 – Own … Continue reading

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A Snake, Handled

I think reptiles–snakes in particular–get a bad rap. Or is it rep? Amphibians are slimy, but reptiles are warm and dry. Human beings have a thing against things that are different. Two legs good, no legs bad–stuff like that. And … Continue reading

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USPS: Apollo 8

The US Postal Service followed up its Gemini stamp a few years later with Apollo 8’s “giant leap.” Neil Armstrong might have referenced humankind’s leap when he stepped on the moon, but truth be told, the first lunar orbit mission … Continue reading

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USPS: Gemini

After Project Mercury and before the Apollo missions, NASA needed to solve problems and practice for what they would need to do for successful flights to the moon. Thus the effort named Gemini moved things forward with two-person crews. What … Continue reading

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