Category Archives: blog1

Galactic jet lag

In class, we discussed the implications and mechanics of light travel time. A major takeaway was the concept that because of the incredibly fast yet undeniably limited speed of light we are able to see VERY distant objects as they were VERY long ago. If you are like me, you might try to see what … Continue reading Galactic jet lag Continue reading Continue reading

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Using Stellarium for observing

“Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope.” – Stellarium webpage   Stellarium is an amazing bit of software to use for help with astronomical observing.  It is free 🙂 and you can…

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Some Context…

I thought to start out the semester, I would look back and provide a little context for myself and everyone else as to how we as humans used to do astronomy. I learned some of the basics of the history of astronomy in a class called the Scientific Revolution. We discussed some of the big […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Universe as the United States

If there’s one straightforward lesson from astronomy, it’s that we’re tiny. We’re small compared to the Earth’s vast size, which is small compared to the sun, which is tiny compared to the space that contains our solar system, which is a tiny dot in one arm of the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of … Continue reading The Universe as the United States Continue reading Continue reading

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2200 Nanometers

About 1/50th a hair’s width. That’s the size of the error which seriously set back the Hubble telescope. Perkin-Elmer diagnostics was tasked with grinding down the primary mirror, a 7.8 foot wide *almost* flat surface. The mirror’s curvature was determined by a reflective mirror array which bends a laser to precisely trace the surface’s desired … Continue reading 2200 Nanometers Continue reading Continue reading

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NASA Solar System Exploration Website

While searching for a website that is useful for observing the solar system, I found the NASA Solar System Exploration website. The landing page rotates through all of the planets in our solar system and provides quick facts about each planet. Currently, listed below this display are facts telling the time until a total lunar … Continue reading NASA Solar System Exploration Website Continue reading Continue reading

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Our Earth, the Spinning Top?

What if I told you that in a couple thousand years from now, your Zodiac sign would no longer be your Zodiac sign? It may be devastating to devout followers of astrology, but the relative positions of the Zodiac constellations are changing very, very slowly, at least from our viewpoint. This is due to a … Continue reading Our Earth, the Spinning Top? Continue reading Continue reading

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Bright Lights (and not much else)

Matchbox Twenty’s Bright Lights. CeeLo Green’s Bright Lights Bigger City. My personal favorite is Sara Bareilles’s Bright Lights and Cityscapes. There is no shortage of songs about… Read more “Bright Lights (and not much else)” Continue reading Continue reading

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A Brief History of Precession

The priests of ancient Babylonia and Egypt were pioneer astronomers – they studied the sky, mapped constellations, and noted movements in both the Sun and the Moon – but, it was a Greek astronomer, Hipparchus, who made the first major new discovery in astronomy: precession. Comparing observations more than a century apart (particularly those done by … Continue reading A Brief History of Precession Continue reading Continue reading

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Blog #1: Solar Eclipse Calendar

A solar eclipse is when the moon comes between the sun and the Earth and completely or partially blocks the light from the sun. This can only occur when the moon is at the nodes of its orbit and when its precession allows it to be in this position while being between the sun and … Continue reading Blog #1: Solar Eclipse Calendar Continue reading Continue reading

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