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Blog Archive

 

A GRB in M31...or not

Philip Evans • May 28, 2014

The Twittersphere has been alive with speculation about a Gamma Ray Burst in the nearby galaxy M31. The problem is, there was never a claim of such an event, and it turns out that the tentative result that triggered this story was overstated.

The Case of the 5-Millisecond Cosmic Radio Burst

Katherine Mack • May 14, 2014

Everyone loves a good mystery. In astronomy, there is nothing more exciting than an unexplained signal.

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 13: Galaxies, the Universe, Life

Bruce Betts • May 08, 2014

Discover the Universe including the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, galaxies, life and more in this video of class 13 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 12: The Sun and Stars

Bruce Betts • May 01, 2014

Explore the physical characteristics and inner workings of the Sun and then learn all about Stars and Stellar Evolution in this video of class 12 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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

ESA Mars Express Team • April 08, 2014

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.

Update on the search for planets in the Alpha Centauri system

Bruce Betts • April 04, 2014

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.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 12: Encyclopedia Galactica

Casey Dreier • February 05, 2014

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.

Super-close supernova in M82

Emily Lakdawalla • January 22, 2014

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.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 10: The Edge of Forever

Casey Dreier • January 21, 2014

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.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 9: The Lives of the Stars

Casey Dreier • December 24, 2013

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.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 8: Journeys Through Space and Time

Casey Dreier • December 17, 2013

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

Asteroid Telescope First Light

Bruce Betts • August 16, 2013

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

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

Emily Lakdawalla • August 16, 2013

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.

Goodnight, Herschel Space Observatory

Jason Davis • June 18, 2013

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

Astronomy Enters a New Era

Mat Kaplan • May 26, 2013

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

ALMA Adventure--Complete Interviews With Planetary Radio Guests

Mat Kaplan • March 26, 2013

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • March 14, 2013

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.

Atacama Diary for March 2, 2013--ALMA Explained

Mat Kaplan • March 02, 2013

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • February 14, 2013

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.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • January 21, 2013

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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