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Blogs

Blog Archive

 

Opposition time for Mars, and several months of dancing with the stars

Posted by ESA Mars Express Team on 2014/04/08 08:47 CDT | 1 comments

The Mars Express team showcases some of the best viewing opportunities of Mars in 2014, including how to spot Comet Siding Spring when it flies past Mars this October.

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Update on the search for planets in the Alpha Centauri system

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2014/04/04 10:29 CDT | 1 comments

Update from Debra Fischer and her team on the intriguing results of their observations of the main Alpha Centauri stars, as well as future plans.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 12: Encyclopedia Galactica
In which we ponder the existence of others

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/02/05 04:55 CST | 8 comments

Cosmos returns in fine form in its penultimate episode. Sagan explores the historical and scientific precedents for the search for extraterrestrial life (SETI) and our human desires to not be alone in the universe.

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Super-close supernova in M82

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/01/22 11:31 CST | 8 comments

The astronomy world is all a-twitter this morning over the discovery of a new supernova in M82, a galaxy that's in our astronomical backyard, "only" 12 million light-years away. And early word is that it appears to be a Type Ia supernova, the kind that's used as a standard candle to measure the expansion of the universe.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 10: The Edge of Forever
In which we contemplate the end of all things

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2014/01/21 06:55 CST | 11 comments

Carl Sagan takes us from the birth to the death of the universe. How do we reconcile our place within a universe that will die? Join us for the latest discussion on episode 10 of Cosmos.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 9: The Lives of the Stars
In which we are star stuff

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/24 03:11 CST | 3 comments

This episode highlights the other big idea in Cosmos: that we are profoundly connected with the universe around us. Our constituent parts are forged in the bellies of massive stars; we exist through their deaths.

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Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 8: Journeys Through Space and Time
Are we imprisoned in both?

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2013/12/17 03:00 CST | 6 comments

Sagan makes us confront the limitations of our mortality given the immensities of space and time presented to us by the cosmos.

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Asteroid Telescope First Light

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2013/08/16 03:04 CDT | 5 comments

Using a Shoemaker NEO Grant a new telescope is operating in Illinois to do asteroid tracking.

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Book review: Europe to the Stars, by Govert Schilling and Lars Lindberg Christensen

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/08/16 11:05 CDT

The world's great telescopes capture stunning photographs of stars, nebulae, and other sky phenomena. In Europe to the Stars, authors Govert Schilling and Lars Lindberg Christensen share many such photos. But the real stars of this book are the great telescopes of the European Southern Observatory.

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Goodnight, Herschel Space Observatory

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/06/18 01:29 CDT | 6 comments

The European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory received its final commands yesterday, having depleted the liquid helium required to make its infrared observations.

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Astronomy Enters a New Era
Join us for a live webcast about thrilling new tools that will come online in the next decade.

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/05/26 08:45 CDT | 3 comments

A live conversation about just a few of the powerful new instruments that will revolutionize our knowledge of the cosmos once again.

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ALMA Adventure--Complete Interviews With Planetary Radio Guests

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/26 12:33 CDT | 6 comments

The extended, mostly unedited recordings of my conversations with many of the people I spoke to at the ALMA Observatory in Chile. Also, the full English translation of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera's speech.

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Planetary Society Weekly Hangout: Being WISE about asteroids, comets, and brown dwarfs with Amy Mainzer

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/03/14 02:00 CDT

This week I'll be talking with NEOWISE principal investigator Amy Mainzer about moving objects that the WISE mission has spotted both inside and outside our solar system.

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Atacama Diary for March 2, 2013--ALMA Explained

Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/03/02 07:00 CST

The second in a series of audio blogs chronicling my trip to the driest spot on Earth, Chile's Atacama desert, to see the inauguration of the ALMA Observatory. Al Wootten and Alison Peck tell the story of ALMA.

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Why can Hubble get detailed views of distant galaxies but not of Pluto?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/02/14 12:37 CST | 15 comments

How come Hubble's pictures of galaxies billions of light years away are so beautifully detailed, yet the pictures of Pluto, which is so much closer, are just little blobs? I get asked this question, or variations of it, a lot. Here's an explainer.

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Stars, and stars, and stars: pretty pictures from the European Southern Observatory

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/01/21 03:39 CST | 4 comments

My solar system chauvinism is well-established, but I am as much a sucker for beautiful astrophotos as the rest of you. Once in a while I get a media advisory from the European Southern Observatory about a new pretty picture posted on their website, and then I inevitably lose an hour following links to one stunner after another.

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Crowdsourcing the Andromeda Galaxy

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/12/11 06:29 CST | 1 comments

Scientists would like your help starting at high-resolution images of the Andromeda Galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Artist's views of a night sky transformed by a galaxy merger

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/06/04 12:25 CDT | 2 comments

A measurement of the Andromeda galaxy's proper motion shows it's coming directly at us, and will collide with the Milky Way in 4 billion years. The event will transform the appearance of our night sky.

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This is how far human radio broadcasts have reached into the galaxy

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/24 05:26 CST | 2 comments

There is an ever-expanding bubble announcing Humanity's presence to anyone listening in the Milky Way.

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The Scale of the Universe, by Cary and Michael Huang

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/02/16 10:14 CST

Cary and Michael Huang present a basic "powers of ten" visualization starting at human scale from which you can scrub downward smaller than quarks or upward to the scale of the entire universe.

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