Astronomy


Thoughts on the Orion Spacecraft Launch from a Space Shuttle Fan

I truly mourned the space shuttle’s demise.  You see, Challenger, the second space shuttle, first launched on my birthday.  Unfortunately, not long after that launch we lost Challenger. Then many years later we lost Columbia. This week’s launch of the Orion spacecraft signals a return to the capsules of old and in many ways a return to what works.


Carl Sagan’s Home Movies and More Are Now in the Library of Congress

Carl Sagan holds a special place in my heart. He advocated science and mastered at taking complex ideas and breaking them down into accessible knowledge that everyone could understand. Sagan’s influence on many was, and is, still profound. Due to a donation by Seth MacFarlane, there is now a Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan collection at the Library of Congress.


Help Bring the McDonald Observatory’s Struve Telescope Model Home to Texas

The McDonald Observatory is a Texas landmark that evokes emotion in all who see it. To me, the bright white telescope domes nestled in the Davis Mountains represent inspiration, education, and — perhaps most importantly — exploration. An Indigogo campaign has been launched to celebrate the Observatory’s 75th anniversary; here is how you can be a part of it all.


Astronomy-Class 100X Telescope and Back Case for iPhone 5

A few weeks ago, we experienced a “super moon.” This is where the moon is full while at the closest proximity to the earth. My boys have a beginner telescope so we spent most of the evening in the back yard looking at the moon and discussing all of the markings and features. We were even able to see the…


Eight Chocolate Planets for the Discriminating Palate

I’m still mourning the loss of Pluto, but you’ll find the other eight planets (including the sun) in this luxury chocolate gift box … Chocolate can taste all of the solar system eight planets, planet is chocolate set. Planets lined up in a row in the package that the image of the universe, like a real solar system space. You…


NASA 5 Rocket Launches in 5 Minutes (Late) Tonight

Last night was unseasonably warm (still above 70F after sunset), and as I looked into the clear night sky I could see planets visible amongst the stars. If I was to stay up well past midnight I might catch sight of five rockets in the night sky, fired one minute apart by NASA. Here are some details: NASA is scheduled…



Did You Catch Last Night’s Lunar Eclipse?

Last night Kevin and I watched the lunar eclipse. It was cold but clear outside as we watched the earth’s shadow pass over the moon, and I was able to snap a few photos with my Canon G11. I didn’t have a special lens attachment, I wasn’t using a tripod, these aren’t going to win any awards, and I sure…



The Imaging Source Allows Amateur Astronomers to Take Amazing Photos

What an amazing thing! The Imaging Source has introduced a line of low-noise astronomy cameras that provide amateur photographers with the necessary tools to take amazing photographs using their telescopes. Priced from $390 to $640, the monochrome and color camera models are available “with and without an IR cut filter in three resolutions: 640×480, 1024×768 and 1280×960. The astronomy cameras…


NASA for iPhone/Touch App Review

What geek does not love space?!?!  Over the past few months, my iPhone has gained a handful of apps for space enthusiasts.  My 5 year old son and I love to sit and look at these apps to learn about the planets and solar systems.  One night this summer he asked why we cannot look at space ships while we…


Star Walk for iPhone / iPod Touch Review

If you ask my wife, the money she spent buying me a telescope a few years ago was wasted. If you ask me or my sons, we’d disagree. It isn’t that we use it all that much, but I chalk that up to living in the Northeast – it is hard to hit that small window when the temperature is…


The Amazing Hubble Space Telescope in Action

According to astronomer Lyman Spitzer’s 1946 paper “Astronomical advantages of an extraterrestrial observatory”, there were two main advantages that a space-based observatory would have over ground-based telescopes. The first advantage was that “the angular resolution (smallest separation at which objects can be clearly distinguished) would be limited only by diffraction, rather than by the turbulence in the atmosphere, which causes…