Category Archives: Astronomy

On My Bookshelf: The Copernicus Complex

Science writer and astrobiologist Caleb Scharf tackles the question of life in the universe. Is it common? Is it rare? Are we unique, here on Earth? The simple answer is: we don’t know. The more complex answer is that we … Continue reading

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Immense Heaven

The astronomy picture of the day is Laniakea, the newly discovered/defined super-structure that includes our Milky Way Galaxy. There’s already a Wikipedia entry. The massive Virgo Supercluster is now just an “appendage” in the bigger scheme of things. It’s hard … Continue reading

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Look Up, Look Southwest

Western European readers, you don’t have much time to catch this, but the moon crashes a close visual encounter with Mars and Saturn after sunset tonight in the southwest. Amateur astronomer Bob King has a nice blog post at Universe … Continue reading

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Before the Big Bang, There Was a Cosmic Egg

The twentieth-century Belgian priest and physicist lends his name to the European supply ship for the International Space Station. He should be more famous, as he developed many of the explanations that describe the expanding universe. Msgr. Lemaitre’s calculations suggested that … Continue reading

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Interviewing Vatican Astronomers

America has a nice brief interview with two American Jesuits in Italy, at the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo. Astronomer Guy Consolmagno is the recent recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal. Paul Mueller is the head of the Jesuit community … Continue reading

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Simulating Rosetta

Space simulation online has come a long way in two decades. I remember the very primitive sites in the late 90’s–attempts to render the real solar system as well as imagined ones. Fun to play with. Michael Sadlon emailed me … Continue reading

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Double Comet

When I saw this development–the target of the space probe Rosetta is a double comet–I wondered if this will make landing the probe more difficult. Then I thought about this celestial body, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Will one lobe get named Churyumov … Continue reading

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