Traveling through crystals, lightly frozen, I rise
from this earth into the neighboring sky
and into that dense region between stars,
interstellar clouds, and Magellanic clouds, dwarf galaxies
near our Milky Way, Earth behind me.
Perhaps our planet, this beautiful pale blue dot,
is part of a distant civilization’s constellation.
I’m comforted thinking that a child there
points at us in awe and thinks
“Pale Blue Dot” is the name given to a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) from…
I am looking forward to watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey - the relaunch of Carl Sagan’s classic “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.”
The show is hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Cosmos premieres Sunday (March 9) on FOX, and Monday (March 10) on the National Geographic Channel.
There was no New Moon this month, but there will be two in March – on the 1st and the 30th.
I have seen some websites call the New Moon a Black Moon. That is not an astronomical term but the name is understandable since the Moon is not normally visible at this phase (except when it is seen in silhouette during a solar eclipse).
What is going on on Mars during certain times of the year when dark streaks are appearing? Scientists baffled. It isn’t water. It contains iron.
"I’ll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space. Right?" — from Contact, Carl Sagan
I find this hopeful.
Operating on solar energy alone, Rosetta was placed into a deep space slumber in June 2011 as it cruised out to a distance of nearly 800 million km from the warmth of the Sun, beyond the orbit of Jupiter. Now, as Rosetta’s orbit has brought it back to within 673 million km from the Sun, there is enough solar energy to power the spacecraft fully again.
After warming up its key navigation instruments, coming out of a stabilising spin, and aiming its main radio antenna at Earth, Rosetta sent a signal to let mission operators know it had survived the most distant part of its journey.
Rosetta is chasing down Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, where it will become the first space mission to rendezvous with a comet, the first to attempt a landing on a comet’s surface, and the first to follow a comet as it swings around the Sun.
Laws of Motion
A cold night for Isaac Newton’s birthday.
This Moon between new and first quarter
is always cold. It…
Today the Quadrantid meteor shower’s annual visit
peaked in the afternoon, hidden but there
The International Space Station is visible to observers on Earth on a regular basis. The space…
Geminid Meteor Shower This Week
Starting this Thursday, you should look to the heavens at night. The 2013 Geminid meteor shower…