Category Archives: Astronomy

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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On My Bookshelf: Pearls of the Southern Skies

This is an excellent indulgence in astronomy eye candy. Photographer Dieter Willasch presents seventy-one images of galaxies and nebulae. Auke Slotegraaf adds a page of commentary on each. This is one of the better coffee table books on astronomy I’ve … Continue reading

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Priest and Scientist

I recommend the brief Crux article on people who were both priests and scientists. I suggest skipping the commentary, though. A few Jesuits were among the clergy listed, but one of my favorites was a diocesan priest: Georges Lemaître (1894-1966) The … Continue reading

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