A "Space Rodeo"?
Eye in the Sky
The Landsat fleet of Earth-observing satellites lives! The newest bird in the flock is temporarily named Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM)—in May it will be handed over from NASA to the USGS and will be officially renamed Landsat 8. Landsats have been looking down on our lovely planet for more than 40 years. LDCM just opened its eyes a few days ago, and sent back some fantastic “first light” pictures, including ... Boulder, Colorado taken on Mar. 18, 2013
Bad Astronomy: I Can See My House From Here!
The Comet Pan-STARRS
The kinda-sorta-maybe bright comet Pan-STARRS [has been] visible low in the west after sunset. The best dates to [view were] March 12 and 13 ... Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) was discovered in June 2011 by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (hence the odd name) ... The comet is non-periodic, a fancy way of saying this is the first time it’s dropped into the inner solar system. There is a reservoir of trillions of such iceballs far, far past Neptune, called the Oort cloud (named after Jan Oort, the Dutch astronomer who was one of the first to predict its existence). Pan-STARRS has been falling from this distant region for a long, long time, perhaps millions of years, and is now approaching the Sun on its incredibly outstretched orbit.
Meanwhile, in Space...
Today, Dec. 28, 2012, marks a somewhat infrequent and cool event: the 13th full Moon of the year ... So what’s the big deal? Well, to be honest, it’s more of a mathematical curiosity than anything else ... you might expect to get 12 full Moons every year, and you’d be close. A year is about 365.25 days, so there should be 12.37 full cycles of lunar phases a year (dividing 365.25 days per year by 29.531 days per lunar cycle), which means 12 full cycles—so 12 full Moons—plus a little bit, about a 1/3 of a cycle more. But that extra bit is important.
"Raach for the Stars"
The song had been uploaded to the rover and played back--a journey over 700 million miles.
Neil Armstrong, 1st man on the moon, dead at 82
Curiosity Has Landed
Seven Minutes of Terror
I'm thrilled with (and very proud of) the final result — the first entirely new globe of the lunar surface in more than 40 years. It's emblematic of Sky & Telescope continuing efforts to produce astronomical products that are accurate, timely, and useful.
Introducing the first entirely new globe of the Moon's surface in more than 40 years: Sky & Telescope's New Moon Globe, featuring data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Available now for $100
I went down, down, down...
Sunrises and sunsets often dazzle, but they’ll have a special ring to them in a few days for people in the western United States and eastern Asia: The moon will slide across the sun, blocking everything but a blazing halo of light. It’s been almost two decades since a “ring of fire” eclipse was visible in the continental United States ...
The late day sun will transform into a glowing ring in southwest Oregon, Northern California, central Nevada, southern Utah, northern Arizona and New Mexico and finally the Texas Panhandle where it will occur at sunset on Sunday. For 3 ½ hours, the eclipse follows an 8,500-mile path. Viewing, from beginning to end, lasts about two hours. The ring phenomenon lasts as long as 5 minutes depending on location.
First "ring of fire" eclipse visible in US in nearly 20 years; here are instruction on how to see it in Colorado
Discovery's final landing
What happens when you take a monster 4.1 meter telescope in the southern hemisphere and point it at the same patch of sky for 55 hours?
An ultradeep image that’s full galaxies! ~ via Bad Astronomy.
We are the explorers.
It's the GMT
"But the shape of this mirror is more challenging by about a factor of 10 than the previous ones that we've made,"
That's because the shape is aspherical. Instead of being a shallow symmetrical bowl, one side of the mirror is higher than the other. It's a shape dictated by where the mirror will focus starlight once it's set in the telescope.
Not only is it devilishly hard to grind and then polish an aspherical mirror, it's hard to know when you've done it right. The mirror is 27 feet across, but the differences in height across the surface are smaller than a millionth of an inch.
"These are the opportunities, like cellphones in the early 1990's, that seem farfetched but may not be all that far away. The potential here is huge."
Governor John Hickenlooper
What does it feel like to fly over planet Earth?
The space rock poses no danger, but it will be scanned and probed and scanned some more." said an asteroid researcher at NASA
I see a new moon rising...
New moon found orbiting Pluto.
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope announced the discovery. The new moon is only 8-21 miles in diameter. This makes four moons around the tiny "planet".
And, to Mars...
NASA's Viking Project found a place in history when it became the first U.S. mission to land a spacecraft safely on the surface of Mars and return images of the surface. Two identical spacecraft, each consisting of a lander and an orbiter, were built. Each orbiter-lander pair flew together and entered Mars orbit; the landers then separated and descended to the planet's surface.
The Viking 1 lander touched down on the western slope of Chryse Planitia (the Plains of Gold) on July 20, 1976.
One Small Step
Today in 1969: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the first humans to set foot on the Moon.
From its first launch 30 years ago to its final launch scheduled for next Friday, NASA's Space Shuttle program has seen moments of dizzying inspiration and of crushing disappointment. When next week's launch is complete, the program will have sent up 135 missions, ferrying more than 350 humans and thousands of tons of material and equipment into low Earth orbit. Fourteen astronauts have lost their lives along the way -- the missions have always been risky, the engineering complex, the hazards extreme. As we near the end of the program, I'd like to look back at the past few decades of shuttle development and missions as we await the next steps toward human space flight.
In Focus: The History of the Space Shuttle
NASA is ending attempts to regain contact with the long-lived Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, which last communicated on March 22, 2010.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
--Dr. Carl Sagan, astronomer and author
Shuttle Mission STS-134:
The STS-134 crew members are Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.
During the 14-day mission, Endeavour is delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre. This is the 36th shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
Update: Photo of Endeavour's liftoff
It's the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight!
Today is the 50th anniversary of man's first flight into space.
Here is Google's commemoration of the event.
Into the Unknown
LIFE Magazine: NASA's Brilliant Mission Patches
During the first NASA missions the astronauts used pencils. For Project Gemini, for example, NASA ordered mechanical pencils in 1965 from Tycam Engineering Manufacturing, Inc., in Houston ... During this time period, Paul C. Fisher of the Fisher Pen Co. designed a ballpoint pen that would operate better in the unique environment of space. His new pen, with a pressurized ink cartridge, functioned in a weightless environment, underwater, in other liquids, and in temperature extremes ranging from -50 F to +400 F.
NASA History: The Fisher Space Pen.
This Saturday's full moon will b an " extreme supermoon" because the moon will be making its closest approach to Earth in 18 years. The moon will appear about 10 to 15% larger than normal. There is danger of abnormally high tides from Friday through Sunday, experts say.
addendum from Jason:
From National Geographic:
Though the supermoon will be about 20 percent brighter and 15 percent bigger than a regular full moon, the visual effect may be subtle, added Anthony Cook, astronomical observer for the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. "I doubt that most people will notice anything unusual about this full moon," Cook said.
"Because the total amount of light is a little greater, the biggest effect will be on the illumination of the ground—but not enough to be very noticeable to the casual observer." ... despite Internet rumors, the impending phenomenon had no influence on the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami.
The space shuttle Discovery has returned to Earth from its final mission, never to soar in orbit again. In the end, Discovery — NASA's oldest and most traveled shuttle — flew its last mission the same way it flew its first: with grace and pride, and with keen eyes around the world watching it every step of the way
We now live in a world without a Space Shuttle: Discovery Lands on Earth After Final Voyage
"Space," it says, "is big. Really big...."
We were watching this on t.v. at Emerald School
They've all left their legacy of exploration for us to follow. They all lived and breathed NASA. They would tell you, if they came here today, to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so the things we learn and the things we do benefit all humankind.
I got frustrated with NASA and made this video. NASA is the most fascinating, adventurous, epic institution ever devised by human beings, and their media sucks ... In all of their brilliance, NASA seems to have forgotten to share their hopes and dreams in a way the public can relate to, leaving one of humanities grandest projects with terrible PR and massive funding cuts ... Unless they can find a way to relate to the general public, support for their projects will always be minimal, and their funding will follow suit.
Hope for cloud-free viewing
A lunar eclipse and the winter solstice coincide tonight.
This won't happen again until 2094.
How many planets are there?
Isn't this a great title for a book?
"How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming" by Mike Brown.
Here is a link to an interview with the author.
One giant leap for mankind...
It was on this day in 1969 that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the moon. They were part of the Apollo 11 crew. An estimated 600 million people watched live coverage of the moon landing.
Thus ends the United States' manned space program
With only two missions to go after the last launch, this is the latest shuttle tank ever to be manufactured. Designated E-138, it rolled out NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, to the beat of the Storyville Stompers.
They're in Grand Junction
Like his fellow scientist, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking believes there are aliens in outer space. But, unlike Sagan, Hawking feels it is too risky to try to contact them.
"We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet," Hawking said.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the launching of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Here are some great images taken by Hubble over the years, courtesy of Google Earth.
Send that Valentine into the cosmos
The Cassini probe, which periodically sweeps past the little moon, has returned yet more data to back up the idea of a sub-surface sea.
This time, it is the detection of negatively charged water molecules in the atmosphere of Enceladus.
Now called a "dwarf planet"
Is Pluto changing colors? New Hubble photos seem to indicate that.
we now have one rover and one wigglable lander on Mars
After six years of unprecedented exploration of the Red Planet, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit no longer will be a fully mobile robot. NASA has designated the once-roving scientific explorer a stationary science platform after efforts during the past several months to free it from a sand trap have been unsuccessful.
Send your ?'s
A first! Astronaut sends tweet from space.
Wow! I am very late in finding this site, but check out these amazing pictures in the Hubble Advent Calendar courtesy of The Big Picture.
It was on this day in 1972 that astronauts on Apollo 17 took a famous photograph of the Earth, a photo that came to be known as The Blue Marble. It became a symbol of the environmental movement of the '70's and was put on flags, t-shirts, bumper stickers, and posters.
Images and data taken just before closest approach [of Rosetta] were downloaded this morning, and they show the lights of North America in the night and a glowing Southern Hemisphere
European Space Agency: Rosetta sees a living planet. Incredible pictures of our little world.
Today is Sagan's birthday
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
---Carl Sagan, Astronomer
AutoTune The Universe
Plus, our dreams.
Things left on the moon: Artifact List.
It was on this day in 1977 that the Voyager 2 spacecraft was launched. Voyager 2 and its twin, Voyager 1, set out to explore the giant gaseous planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. They did that, and they are still in space, releasing new data constantly. Voyager 2's newest discovery concerns the bubble around our solar system where the solar wind (a thin gas of charged particles, which come from the sun) meets the space beyond our solar system. Voyager 2 has shown that that bubble is irregular, or squashed, not round.
Just in case the Voyagers make it into another solar system with alien life forms, each Voyager has a record that is three-quarters music and one-quarter greetings in 55 languages and various sounds from nature. The music includes Beethoven, Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong, and traditional songs from all over the world.
Astronomy Picture of the Day: The Milky Way Over Devils Tower
"That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."
- Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969
The Eagle has Landed
On July 20, 1969, at 20:17:40 GMT, human beings landed on an alien world.
That was the moment that the Eagle lander touched down on the surface of the Moon, 40 years ago today. Nearly five hours later, at 02:56:15 GMT on July 21, Neil Armstrong placed his boot in the lunar regolith, planting it firmly into history as well.
You can read all about this event and its global and historical impacts all over the web, so I won’t belabor the point here. But the Apollo missions mean something special to me, so forgive me this small indulgence.
Phil Plait: What Apollo means to me
One small step...
40 years ago, three human beings - with the help of many thousands of others - left our planet on a successful journey to our Moon, setting foot on another world for the first time. [Today] marks the 40th anniversary of the July 16, 1969 launch of Apollo 11, with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. aboard.
The Big Picture: Remembering Apollo 11.
It's a great big uinverse, and we're all really puny!
Kaguya, a Japanese spacecraft orbiting the Moon since October 2007, is equipped with lots of sensors and equipment, including two HD cameras. The footage below is not CGI - it’s a real video of the Moon.
(thanks, Bad Astronomer!
Astronomers choose their favorite Hubble photos for NPR. Hear them explain their choices .
During their 11-day mission, the astronauts will use more than 1,000 specialized tools and parts made by Ball Aerospace in Boulder to give Hubble a makeover, extending the life of well-loved telescope for at least another four years.
Venetia Phair, who has died aged 90, had the distinction of being the only woman in the world to have named a planet; in 1930, as a girl of 11, she suggested the name Pluto for the enigmatic celestial body that had just been discovered, and which became (albeit only temporarily) the ninth planet in our solar system.Venetia Phair, the girl who named a planet
X-ray picture from space dubbed the Hand of God.
Full Moon Monday Night
Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street.
I took it as a sign to start singing,
falling up into the bowl of sky.
Rumi, Persian poet
Extra-large full moon tonight
The sky is that beautiful old parchment in which the sun and the moon keep their diary.
"The universe is yours to discover."
2009 is the International Year of Astronomy
Pale Blue Dot
"This picture shows our Earth (the tiny speck in upper center) as seen by Hubble from far out in space.
I will finish with the words of astronomer Carl Sagan about this Pale Blue Dot:
"That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar", every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
40 years ago, American astronauts circled the moon on Christmas Eve, and read scriptures to honor the day.
This movie shows Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon, as it ducks behind the giant planet. Astronomers combined a series of images taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to make the 18-second movie. The 540 movie frames were created from Hubble images taken over a two-hour period on April 9, 2007Hubble Catches Jupiter's Largest Moon Going to the 'Dark Side'
Sky Show Tonight: Biggest, Brightest Full Moon of 2008
The heavens are telling the glory...
The Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. Check here every day till Christmas for fantastic pictures from space.
Science experiment was sent by Boulder school children
Two new planets have been discovered outside our solar system. They are orbiting the star Fomalhaut.
Sent off in January, today, October 6th, the Messenger spacecraft will make it's closest approach to the planet Mercury.
Messenger is a NASA Discovery mission to conduct the first orbital study of the innermost planet.
The Mission Continues
This 180-degree panorama shows the southward vista from the location where Spirit is spending its third Martian winter inside Mars' Gusev Crater. The rover's overwintering location is on the northern edge of a low plateau informally called "Home Plate," which is about 80 meters or 260 feet in diameter.Southern Half of Spirit's 'Bonestell' Panorama
Scientists confirm-- Water on Mars!
"We have water. We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."
The cause of the Northern Lights has finally been discovered.
THEMIS Satellites discover Northern Lights are powered by magnetic fields snapping like rubber bands.
Houston... Tranquility Base here... the Eagle has landed.
NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has created a video of the moon transiting (passing in front of) Earth as seen from the spacecraft's point of view 31 million miles away. Scientists are using the video to develop techniques to study alien worlds.NASA's Deep Impact Films Earth as an Alien World
So far there are only two...
What is a plutoid?
Built by Colorado's Lockheed-Martin
The Hubble telescope celebrates 18 years
Check out these amazing images taken over the years.
See the moon turn red!
Wishing and hoping
A REALLY full moon
Last night's full moon was the largest one for 2007. It is called the Perigee moon. It appears considerably larger than normal full moons because the moon is in its closest orbit to the earth.
I forgot to go out and watch moonrise last night, but this morning the perigee moon was hanging in the sky over Long's Peak, getting ready to set. it was still a glorious sight.
May the force be with you.
When the space shuttle Discovery launched yesterday it carried a big part for the space station. But it also carried Luke Skywalker's original lightsaber from the movie "Star Wars". This was in celebration of the 30th anniversary of that movie.
10 Years of Cassini
The Cassini probe launched 10 years ago. I remember it well as I organized the school I was at to sign post cards to have them included on the probe. Phil Plait, the "Bad Astronomer" takes a look at the probe: "Cassini: 10 years and counting".
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik, the first successful manmade satellite. Newsweek magazine says "This lit a fire under the Americn space program. Without Sputnik there woud have been no Apollo program, no race to the moon, no 1969 landing.
I remember going out in an open field on the ranch of some Wyoming friends, craning our necks, and watching the tiny dot of light pass over us. It made one feel small, and some how "watched" by the Russians. I know for sure that it boosted the teaching of Science in schools to a new (and needed) high.
Check out Google's remembrance of the event here.
Anyone out there?
I went out last night at 9:01 P.M. and viewed the space station and the Endeavour space shuttle passing over. I found out about this from a local television news weatherman who gave specific information about the time and the area of the sky to watch.
With the limited moonlight, this evening should provide prime viewiing for the perseid meteor shower.
"Class is in session"
In memory of Christa McAuliffe and the rest of the fallen Challenger crew, Barbara Morgan, teacher and astronaut, lifted off with the space shuttle Endeavour on Tuesday. The flight finally succeeded in getting a Posted by Kerry to Space
Dreamy Lunar Eclipse
Wake up early on August 28th - there's going to be a colorful lunar eclipse visible from five continents including most of North America! NASA has the full story.
This gives new meaning to "Take out the trash."
38 Years Ago...
So... not from around here, are you?
We are from another galaxy in the process of joining with the Milky Way. The Milky Way is actually not our parent galaxy. The mystery of why the Milky Way has always been sideways in the night sky has never been answered -- Posted by Jason to Space
Once in a...
Blue Moon tonight! This is the first one since 2004.
Yes, there ARE 9 planets!
The State of New Mexico recently passed legislation recognizing Pluto as a planet "whenever it passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies." Take that, International Ast
Comet Between Fireworks and Lightning
Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is pretty amazing.
On January 26, people from Perth, Australia gathered on a local beach to watch a sky light up with delights near and fa
I DID see Comet McNaught (see my eariler post). It was overcast and snowy on the dates previously posted for optimum comet viewing, so I had given up spotting it. However, this morning, abo
Ain't Science/Technology cool? Using one Mars thingie to find another Mars Thingie.
The next two days may be the last chance to see "the brightest comet in 32 years", COMET McNAUGHT. Watch the evening sky from 5 to 5:30. Look to the west and then just to the right of where the sun set. Anot
Three in a row
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the planets Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars appear to nestle together in the predawn skies. Check them out about 45 minutes before sunrise. They will be so close together that a person's thumb can obscure all three from view. Wh
To The Moon (again)
NASA Unveils Strategy for Return to the Moon. NASA wants to build a moon base in order to "... achieve a sustained, human presence on the Moon."
The base would be built in increm
A loooong tee shot
A cosmonaut hit a golf ball into space from outside the space shuttle today. It took 16 minutes to set up the shot since a special tee was needed to keep the ball from floating off
Disappointed by Leonids
Sarah, Ben, and I stayed up late last night looking for the Leonid meteor shower. The kids saw a couple, but it wasn't the spectacular show I was hoping for. It is possible the shower increased later in the night, but I wasn't able to stay up to see it
Enjoy a Shower this Weekend
This weekend sees the return of the Leonid meteor shower to our night skies. While the Leonid's aren't as bright as some of the summer showers, this year viewers along the northeastern coast of the United States and Canada might get to see a possible '
2006 Transit of Mercury
On Wednesday, 2006 Nov 08, Mercury will transit the Sun for the first time since 2003. The transit or passage of a planet across the face of the Sun is a relatively rare
New Life for Hubble!
NASA announcd yesterday that they will allow astronauts to attempt a mission to repair and update the Hubble space telescope, probably in 2008. This is great news for astronome
In Saturn's Shadow
Sol 951: Opportunity reaches Victoria Crater
NASA's Mars rover Opportunity reached the rim of "Victoria Crater" in Mars' Meridiani Planum region with a 26-m
Requiem for a Planet/ Pluto, 1930-2006
I'm not sure why it bothers me so much that Pluto is not a planet anymore. Maybe it's because, in unsettling times, one expects at least some things (like planets) will re
Amateur astronomers, grab your telescopes. A spaceship is about to crash into the Moon, and you may be able to see the impact ... There's n
Round? Orbits the Sun?
After much controversy and debate, the International Astronomical Union has ruled that Pluto is still a planet.
Some astronomers had lobbied for reclassifying Pl
Have you seen the moon?
"One giant blunder for mankind: how NASA lost moon pictures"
Another Cassini Discovery
A flyby of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has finally revealed what scientists were searching for: lakes. Lots an
To The Moon
Project Orion: NASA's plan on returning to the moon.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy...
"Space ... is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindboggingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space..."
Posted by Jason to Space
You Are Here
What does Earth look like from Mars? Not Much. Link goes to 390kb image
It's springtime here, but...
On the Fourth Planet
New Scientist reports that the Mars rover Spirit has been successfully brought to a safe resting place to wait out the oncoming Martian
Cool... clear... water...
First Jupiter, and now Saturn in the news (or at least a moon): Liquid water has been found on Enceladus
The Cassini spacecraft has found evidence of liqu
Red Spot, Jr.
Jupiter is growing another red spot. Nicknamed Red, Jr., the new spot is about half as big as the famous Red Spot. Scientists believe both are storms, but don't know for sure why they are re
The Ninth Planet
The Girl who Named a Planet. The BBC profiles Venetia Phair who, at age 11, suggested the 9th planet be named Pluto. Now 87, she is the only person alove to have named a planet.
It's a Triple!
Scientists, stretching the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope, discover that Polaris is actually a triple star system.
"Sometimes you can see how there is erosion, and you can see how there is deforestation. It's very widespread in some parts of the world. We would like to see, from the astronauts' point of view, people take good care o