Category Archives: Astronomy

On My Bookshelf: The Hubble Cosmos

Upfront: I’ve been an avid reader of National Geographic since 1969. I usually catch up these days at the public library, as I never wanted to recycle their magazines. And those volumes get heavy as the years pile up. I … Continue reading

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The High Queen of Late Night

One of the first star patterns I recognized as a young lad was the “W” (or “M,” from another perspective) opposite Ursa Major (The Big Dipper) from the north star’s constellation, Ursa Minor. These days, a northern hemisphere viewer will see this … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, constellations | 2 Comments

New Looks At Old Moons

I reading where they’ve finally detected evidence of water plumes on Europa, an ice-crusted moon of Jupiter. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, and W. Sparks (STScI)) Video here. Very cool, and not just because of a surface temp of minus-260 F. … Continue reading

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Totality: A Year From Today

A total solar eclipse is certainly on my bucket list. A year from today I will be off from parish duty and driving south into Oregon to see something I’ve wanted to see since I was a little boy. I’ve … Continue reading

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Visions of Andromeda

Some of my listening today: Symphony 48 of Alan Hovhaness. There’s a lot of familiar musical stuff here to the composer’s followers. Perhaps including his interest in astronomy, considering the subtitle: Visions of Andromeda. I wonder if he means the mythological … Continue reading

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Ignatius of Loyola and His Stars

Received an email from the Vatican Observatory Foundation observing today’s feast. It included this quote from his autobiography: The greatest consolation that he received at this time was from gazing at the sky and stars, and this he often did and for … Continue reading

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There Is No Full Moon Tonight

I don’t know who started this meme. A few friends on my facebook feed have insisted that today, a Friday the 13th, we have a full moon. It just happened in 2014 and doesn’t occur again till 2049. Transits of Mercury are … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Music | 2 Comments