Twenty-three years ago today, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low-earth orbit (meaning about 555 km, or 345 mi, above the surface of the Earth.) Since that time, it has produced perhaps the largest body of work of any single telescope, and certainly some of the most detailed. And just recently, NASA released [...]
Just a quick image from tonight, as Jupiter passed close to the moon. Or at least, from the given perspective of one position in the universe presently occupied by Earth. Jupiter has often been much closer to the moon, distance-wise, even when not visible in the sky at all.
This is admittedly both not [...]
Some time back, I’d started a post on this subject, partially in response to a thread somewhere, but when I took too long to finish it I realized it was, in webby terms, no longer current, and simply let it go. But after another prompting, this time from The Straight Dope, I [...]
The passing of Neil Armstrong the other day brought a flurry of articles and post featuring the same image, one that’s been featured literally uncountable times since 1969. You know the one that I mean…
Those that are really into the space programs, especially the Apollos, know that this is usually misrepresented. [...]
As I sit here watching, more or less live, all the guys at JPL as the Mars Science Laboratory (otherwise known as “Curiosity”) prepares to land on Mars, I’m wandering off in speculation about humans as a species and our own curiosity, the trait that makes us do things exactly like this.
[The vehicle [...]
Yeah, despite my kvetching, I actually got some breaks in the clouds during the transit of Venus right now, and the thin wisps allowing the sun to peek through actually made the light level manageable without a ridiculously expensive solar filter (that I would use once.)
During the previous transit in 2004, I was [...]
So yeah, I’m well outside of the range of the annular eclipse, still taking place as I type this I believe, and my friend in Kansas thought he was too. But at least he was watching carefully at sunset when he got the right conditions.
No filters needed when it’s this low on [...]
Okay, first off, I apologize to those whose attention span will not be able to handle a 45 minute video – I know, this is the internet, the TL;DR Channel, where three minutes is a chore. Chill out, get a Pepsi or some tea, and stay on the same page for a bit (it’ll [...]
On this date 22 years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope was borne into space on Shuttle Discovery, the one that recently did its last flyby over DC (well, okay, it had help) before delivery to the Udvar-Hazy center. The Hubble will be retired soon, and while this is viewed with some [...]
Courtesy of NASA’s Astronomy Photo of the Day, I present one of the most interesting examples of unintuitive physics: the curvature of spacetime to produce a gravitational lens. The ring that you see here is not the shock wave from a supernova affecting the surrounding gases, as I first thought, but actually a blue [...]