Category Archives: Astronomy

First Glimpses Last Night

The young miss and I got our first views of the comet. My first in over two decades. We live across the street from a nature preserve, and as you might expect in the¬†Pacific Northwest, we have to contend with … Continue reading

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This Week’s Comet

image credit: By Maxime Storn – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 I suppose if the ancients were undergoing pandemic and this comet appeared in the sky, there might be a lot of hand-wringing over this symbol of celestial displeasure. As … Continue reading

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Which Virgin?

There is much pagan mythology connected to the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere’s night sky. If any of you readers indulge your “horrorscope” you might recognize Virgo, designated a virgin. Perhaps regrettably, this rather large grouping of stars does not … Continue reading

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A Tempter In The Sky

Christians know well the story of Genesis 3. The serpent is the first villain in the Bible.¬† At the end of the story, punishments are delivered. Early Christians imagined the extended and winding constellation wrapping around the pole star to … Continue reading

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Book Challenge Day 8

One of my two favorite astronomy books of all time. Usually I go for planets and smaller bodies–my astronomy leans more to geology and physics and cosmology. But this book is great.

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Book Challenge Day 1

This series will run simultaneously on my fb page. There, no comment, just cover. Here, a few words. This was the first book I wore out. I got another–the same 1956 edition. Today, my go-to field guide for astronomy is … Continue reading

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Giotto’s Comet

Seasonally appropriate, perhaps you know Giotto’s Adoration of the Magi. The star of wonder looks like a comet to me. Europe’s 1980’s probe to Halley’s comet was named for him, because of this painting. Giotto was thought to have been … Continue reading

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a.k.a. 2014 MU69

The object stuck with the unofficial name “Ultima Thule.” A few things about this: 1. There’s already a solar system body named Thule. By the way, it was the 279th discovery in the asteroid belt. 2. Cool. This is a … Continue reading

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Under The Starry Heavens

Two years ago, I blogged here with another image of Ignatius and his beloved stars. One of my favorite images of today’s saint, Ignatius of Loyola, is above. I wish I could locate a credit and artist; the best I … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: The Planet Factory

When I was a boy, I read of Peter van de Kamp‘s insistence on having discovered two planets in orbit around Barnard’s Star, a small red orb in our galactic neighborhood. The promise was that being so “close” to us–a … Continue reading

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To The Marius Hills

Image Credit: NASA, Lunar Orbiter 2; Inset: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Our grandchildren might live on the moon. If so, one likely place for a base would be the volcanic landscape of the Marius Hills. Or, more accurately, under it. Today’s … Continue reading

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Coverage of the Sun

Put up earlier on my facebook page. Getting ourselves set up on the side porch. The young miss with NASA tv on the laptop. My half-broken binoculars projecting the sun’s image onto a clothing box: My guess is that we … Continue reading

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Miguel de Cervantes in Space

As far as we yet know, the stellar system Mu Arae has four planets. Some three-hundred trillion miles away, it is not a particularly conspicuous star in the not particularly conspicuous constellation of Ara, the altar. A few years ago, … Continue reading

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Who Orbits?

From Pope Francis’s TED talk this week: How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to … Continue reading

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Earth From Apollo 17

The iconic image from the last astronauts to return from the moon. Reminds me of this song from Missa Gaia. And the great medieval saint, Hildegard of Bingen: Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at … Continue reading

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