Category Archives: Astronomy

Western Double

Remember to check the close pairing of Venus and Jupiter in the sky, especially tonight. In real space, they are separated by about a half-billion miles. But if you hold your thumb at arm’s length, they will be closer than … Continue reading

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From The Sky, Diamonds

I was not aware some meteorites falling to Earth often contain small diamonds. These are not gem grade crystals, not even the bigger ones described here that fell into an African desert in 2008: Large diamonds are most likely to … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf: Deep Space

Govert Schilling has assembled a few hundred pages of astronomy eye candy here. Pretty pictures have inspired people to get interested in astronomy for centuries. And these days, the images are prettier than ever. One comment I’ve heard is that … Continue reading

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Two Sunsets

Someday, people will look at the setting sun on Mars and consider it just as romantic as what one sees on Earth. Today, we can experience a comparison: the French Riviera and Gale Crater. Why does the Red Planet have … Continue reading

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Svalbard Gets Totality

If I remember my geography right, Svalbard has a few thousand people living on its islands. Those inhabitants, plus some astronomical thrill-seekers got to see the year’s main total solar eclipse earlier today. For Americans, the big one is still … Continue reading

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Closing in on Ceres

The Dawn spacecraft is nearing the dwarf planet and largest asteroid Ceres. Nice pair of images on the APOD site today. Scientists are pondering the white spots on the surface, but I’ve seen things like this before. Compare Ceres (imaged … Continue reading

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True Cold Blue

One of my favorite astronomy pictures was featured yesterday on the APOD site: icy white clouds casting shadows on Neptune’s blue haze below. This planet is unimaginably cold, but has winds double the speed of a passenger jet.

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