Daily Archives: February 7, 2018

On This Day in Astronomy History…

  Thirty-four years ago today, on February 7th 1984, NASA Astronaut Bruce McCandless II became the first person to fly untethered from their spacecraft. McCandless, who just recently passed December 21st at the age of 80, was able to travel 320 feet from the space shuttle Challenger without any connection to the shuttle. He accomplished […] Continue reading

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Celestial Navigation

Celestial navigation, or astronavigation, allows a navigator to use sights and angular measurements between celestial bodies to determine their location. While the sun is the most commonly used body, the moon, planets, polaris, and some other 57 navigational stars can also be used. Those navigational stars have coordinates that are pre-calculated and located in the … Continue reading Celestial Navigation Continue reading

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The Largest Telescope in the World

Wikipedia Commons In order to allow for astronomers to observe far into space, there are numerous gigantic telescopes laid out globally. None larger than the Gran Telescopio Canarias, located on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands. As an infra-red telescope, the telescope seeks to explore questions such as the mystique surrounding […] Continue reading

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GMT: What else is out there?

This telescope, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is currently in the process of being built. It is a refractory telescope with 7 separate mirrors that each have a diameter of 8.4 meters. This telescope is going to be incredibly large. In fact, it is going to be the largest optical telescope to be built. According … Continue reading GMT: What else is out there? Continue reading

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  There is this prose poem that I love that I thought would be perfect to post on my astronomy blog. It’s featured on the blog website “I Wrote This For You” which is an alias for poet/short story writer Iain S. Thomas. The poem’s title is “The Importance of Correctly Numbering Things,” which you … Continue reading Infinity Continue reading

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Johannes Kepler: A Sign of the Times

Today I want to talk about Johannes Kepler (Born on December 27, 1571 at 1 PM; Died November 15, 1630). Kepler was the guy who came up with the three laws of planetary motion and basically, is the reason why we know how planets orbit things today (NASA). But did you know what was going on … Continue reading Johannes Kepler: A Sign of the Times Continue reading

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Historical Astronomers in Context

Tycho Brahe (Dec. 14, 1546 – Oct. 24,1601) One of Brahe’s most acclaimed achievements was the observation of a supernova in 1572.  He used this event, along with a later observation of a comet, to refute the widely-accepted idea of celestial immutability.  Yet Brahe’s most important contributions to astronomy existed in the seemingly-mundane.  He recorded…

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Of Light and Glass (Blog #2)

Humans had been studying the stars for thousands of years before the first telescopes had been invented. The naked eye was enough to understand basic astronomical phenomena in the solar system, but if we wanted understand more, the human eye would need some help. Although they were primitive and only had magnifications of around three … Continue reading Of Light and Glass (Blog #2) Continue reading

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