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Astronomy Is Cheap, Too

Casey Dreier • August 17, 2012

There was upsetting news today, as the National Science Foundation's Division of Astronomical Sciences released a report that recommended divesting from several highly successful radio telescopes. The money in question, as usual, amounts to almost nothing. The effects, however, are massive.

Virtual Star Parties

Emily Lakdawalla • June 28, 2012

Hang out with Fraser Cain and amateur astronomers all over the world in Cosmoquest's Virtual Star parties conducted over Google+. Here's how -- plus an inspiring video produced by Google to show just how cool this is.

Yet more planet transits

Emily Lakdawalla • June 14, 2012

A reader comment on Jay Pasachoff's post last week about Venus transits viewed from other planets had me asking whether transits of other planets were also interesting to astronomers. Jay provided some answers!

NRO gives NASA two hand-me-down telescopes

Jason Davis • June 07, 2012

The National Reconnaissance Office has donated two, partially-completed space telescopes to NASA, revealed at a National Academies' Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics meeting this week.

Transit of Venus June 5: Why Should You Care and How to Observe

Bruce Betts • June 02, 2012

A rare astronomical event occurs June 5/6. Find out why you should care and how to observe it.

Full Free Intro Astronomy Class Now Online

Bruce Betts • May 22, 2012

Bruce Betts' complete CSUDH Intro Astronomy and Planetary Science class is now available online. Find out how to access it, and go behind the scenes.

Some Details About Transits of Venus

David Shortt • May 22, 2012

The upcoming rare transit of Venus is one step in a long dance among Earth, Venus and the Sun. Transits of Venus follow a peculiar pattern—two transits 8 years apart, then 105.5 years with no transits, then two transits 8 years apart, then 121.5 years with no transits, for a total cycle of 243 years—and thereby hangs a tale.

Night Sky Guide for Summer 2012

Ray Sanders • May 11, 2012

This summer should provide great opportunities for stargazers to view planets, meteor showers, the transit of Venus, and for some, the annular solar eclipse. Check out these highlights of what you can look forward to this summer.

Planetary Radio: Taking Back the Night

Mat Kaplan • April 17, 2012

Planetary Radio for April 16, 2012 features an interview with Scott Kardel of the International Dark Sky Association.

Online Astronomy Course Update

Bruce Betts • March 06, 2012

All the archived lectures from my free Introduction to Astronomy and the Solar System course, as well as links to the syllabus and how to watch the lectures live, can be found online.

Infographic: Viewing our universe's colors

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2012

An infographic explains in what "colors" of electromagnetic radiation we been able to observe our universe, over the length of the space age.

Checking up on Jupiter and Saturn

Emily Lakdawalla • February 10, 2012

It's amateur astronomers, not professionals, who are shouldering the burden of constant monitoring of the weather on Jupiter and Saturn. What's going on these days in the outer solar system?

Bruce Betts' Free Online Intro To Astronomy Course

Mat Kaplan • January 31, 2012

Bruce Betts will be returning to the virtual classroom at California State University, Dominguez Hills for an Intro To Astronomy course. The first lecture will be Wednesday, February 8, from 3:00 to 4:30pm Pacific Time.

Today's 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast Offers a Free, Online Astronomy Class!

Mat Kaplan • January 26, 2012

The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast begins this year's effort with an interview with Bruce Betts, who will be starting an online astronomy course. A transcription of the interview is included in this post, as well as a link to the podcast.

Watch this week's Google+ Space Hangout

Emily Lakdawalla • January 19, 2012

This week's lineup is a largely astronomical crowd so most of the conversation concerned dark matter and boiling exoplanets and imaging the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

What's Up in the Winter Sky

Ray Sanders • November 18, 2011

The warm days and cool evenings of fall are giving way to cold days and colder nights. For many amateur astronomers, observing during winter is a bit of a challenge - clouds, dew, ice, and of course, the cold.

Video: Top 5 Awesome Things About the Webb Telescope

Emily Lakdawalla • July 15, 2011

With all the turmoil over the House's cancellation of the James Webb Space Telescope it seems an appropriate time to post this YouTube video.

Observing at the WIYN

Meg Schwamb • June 08, 2011

On May 5 and 6, I had a run on the WIYN (Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO) telescope, a 3.5 m telescope, the second largest telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona.

Summer Sights of the Solar System

Ray Sanders • June 07, 2011

What can you expect to see if you look at the night sky this summer (2011)?

Citizen Science projects for Planetary Science: Get Involved! Do Science!

Mike Malaska • May 12, 2011

Citizen Science projects let volunteers easily contribute to active science programs. They're useful when there is so much data it overwhelms computing algorithms (if they exist) or the scientific research team attempting to process it.

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