What happens when you combine a passion for astronomy and a love of wine? Cabernet that's out of this world. Literally. It's called Meteorito, and has a berry, nutty flavor with just a hint of iron and nickel. The wine was made by oenophile and amateur astronomer Ian Hutcheon, who runs his own vineyard and established an observatory in Chile called Centro Astronomica Tagua Tagua.
Let's say today is your birthday. You've just put those boisterous, vicenarian times behind you, reaching the first big step to your upcoming midlife crisis—30 years old. Maybe this is your midlife crisis. After all, if you're not where you want to be in life when you join the tricenarian ranks, the future starts looking bleak.
Late last night and early this morning the Lyrid meteor shower was at its peak. Hopefully everyone got a good view. If you snapped some cool pictures, post them to our community corkboard to give some of us who missed the Lyrids a chance to see them after all.
I'm starting a series on the top astronomers, with probably about eleven astronomers that I will be covering overall. So, let's start out from the top, with the top most important astronomer. In my opinion, Galileo Galilei is the top astronomer.
This article will show you how to make a proportionally correct 1/187 (about) size Hubble Space Telescope. I tried to add as many details as possible, but it was hard at such a small size. It was really easy, but it did take a while to make.
For newbies to astronomy, expensive equipment is an understandable deterrent. But with some thorough Google searching, you can find plenty of How-To's for making your own tools for less. Below are a few sites with several cool projects to offer.
For years, astronomers have been trying to figure out how our galaxy came to be. Even with the help of high-performance computers, no model of a spiral galaxy has ever been able to recreate the Milky Way, until now. An international team of researchers has created the first successful simulation of what happened 14 billion years ago to give our galaxy its unique shape. Turns out, all they needed was a bigger bang. Photo by IntelFreePress
This year is a leap year, which means today is leap day! I will be explaining why this happens and some special conditions below in the AON. Plus, there is a new feature this week—elongation! Be sure to check it out below.
In my opinion, Isaac Newton is definitely the number two astronomer, right below Galileo Galilei. His discoveries were very important to uncovering the secrets of space, and he deserves to be remembered.
There seems to be a renewed interest of late in the great beyond that is space. After the Red Bull Space Jump and the retirement of space shuttle Endeavor, space is kind of cool again.
When Cerek mentioned astronomy-inspired artwork in his Astronomy World introduction post, I immediately thought of Russell Crotty. Crotty is a California artist who creates beautiful sculptures and drawings inspired by astronomy, landscape, and surfing.
Just a couple Saturday's ago, we were blessed with the Supermoon, where the moon was at perigee with our planet, creating a larger than usual Moon for us here on Earth. Now, we've got another spectacular show in the skies coming up, only this one isn't at night. There will be an annular solar eclipse on Sunday, May 20th!
You're probably already impressed at some of the photos amateur astrophotographers can capture with their 16-megapixel digital cameras. I know I am. That's why I'm beefing up my camera skills, so I can also take some amazing pictures of our skies above. But if you can take photos this good with a 16-megapixel camera, imagine what you could do with something a little bigger, say, 3.2 billion pixels! That's a whopping 200 times more pixels!
The Geminid meteor shower happens every December and has been observed for over 500 years. It's is also known as Winter's Fireworks because when viewed from the right location, there are enough meteors to light up the whole night sky, and some of them can even be different colors. The shower appears to come from the Gemini constellation, but is actually caused by Earth passing through the tail of dust and debris left behind by the comet 3200 Phaethon.
I recently bought a new telescope and thought I would share a few images that I have taken with it. I am very new to astrophotography, but I hope to be able to post up some more images in the near future.
Explore the night sky on your iOS device, or better yet, in the third dimension on a 3D TV. More information here and here.
This week's AON has lots of conjunctions—be sure to observe them! Here it is: The Garradd comet is still in the sky! Here's how to observe it!
As discussed earlier, there are many ways to view the upcoming solar eclipse, whether it be with actual eclipse glasses, welder's lenses, eclipse-approved filters, or a solar telescope. If you can't get your hands on any of those, the safest way to view the solar eclipse this Sunday, whether it be annular or partial, is with a projection method.
Inhabiting the microgravity environment on the cusp of the world's atmosphere has to be filled with some of the most unique experiences in the world. Astronauts eat, sleep, and work just as we do, except that their lives are filled with the added dangers of extreme temperatures and possible life-threatening malfunctions, all while being 240 miles up in the sky. Well, now's your chance to ask a handful of astronauts anything you ever wanted to know about life on the International Space Station.
Via Caras Ionut
How To: Know Exactly When You Can Spot the International Space Station at Home with NASA Text Alerts
The International Space Station is one of the brightest objects in the night sky when it can be seen. If you know when and where to look, you can even see it from your house. It looks more or less like a really fast-moving plane—so fast, actually, that it's only visible from a specific place for a few minutes at a time. But now you don't have to do a ton of mathematical equations or rely solely on luck to spot the ISS at night. NASA just launched a program called Spot the Station that sends y...
There is going to be an annular solar eclipse on May 20th that will be visible in a narrow pathway that covers part of Eastern Asia and the Western United States. The eclipse will be seen as a partial eclipse over a much greater region of the World. I live in Redding, California, which luckily happens to be right in the center of the path, giving a perfect ring of fire effect during the peak of the eclipse.
Water covers approximately 70 percent of Earth's surface and the human body contains up to 78 percent water, depending on body size. Yet, water seems to be taken for granted here on Earth. But if you travel to an orbital altitude of about 250 miles, water starts looking pretty interesting. Especially to astronaut Don Pettit on-board the International Space Station.
I came across these beautiful wallpapers while browsing +Guy Kawasaki's Google+ stream. Basically, someone combined Calvin and Hobbes with the OS X Lion desktop wallpaper to make some truly fun artwork. Click on the link for access to the full-resolution wallpapers.
I took about 700 pictures over 7 hours late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning of the quandrantid meteor shower. I combined the clearest 300 of them to make the star trails, and then went and found individual pictures with the brightest meteors and overlayed them on top. I also found three planes flying overhead and overlayed those as well. The gaps in those plane streaks heading towards the horizon show how long my camera was taking between frames.
Since the Geminid Meteor shower is intensifying more every year, grab your binoculars and lay down in a field to enjoy the show! If you are going to observe one day, do it on the peak: December 14th.
NASA reports that the sun erupted late last night with a large solar flare—an M8.7 class flare. The classification is calculated according to the peak flux of 100 to 800 picometer x-rays near Earth measured from the GEOS weather satellite. There are 5 letter classifications for solar flares, each with a linear 1-9 number scale of severity. M is the fourth most powerful class, with X leading the way. But last night's earth-directed coronal mass ejection (CME), captured by the Solar Dynamics Ob...
Red Bull Stratos sent the first skydiver to space in a weather balloon this past weekend. Free-fall jumper Felix Baumgartner reached 24 miles in altitude in the Earth's upper stratosphere before he leaped from the capsule. Felix reached a maximum speed of 833mph, breaking the sound barrier, before slowing down at the atmosphere, where he finished with a 4:20 minute freefall.
The peak of the Lyrid meteor shower of 2012 was the night of Saturday, April 21, and I went to Whiskeytown Lake near Redding, California and took about 1,000 pictures. I used 3 Panasonic GH2s with various lenses and edited all of the shots together to make the time-lapse video below. You really have to watch it in full screen at 720p or 1080p HD in order to appreciate it. This is only my second attempt at a time-lapse video and my second attempt at filming meteors, but I was pretty happy with...
We've all seen the breathtaking, colorful photos of the Eagle, Egg and Cat's Eye Nebulae. You may not recognize them by name, but you've seen them, whether in astronomy textbooks, magazines, websites, album covers, or tee shirts. They are some of the most striking photographs ever taken from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
I'll have to post up some pictures of astronomy-related papercraft models that I have made at some point, but for now here is a link to a few different papercraft models of the planets. I need to go back through my resources because I know there are a bunch of sites out there with some easier to make polyhedral models. Also, at some point I'll put up the models of planetary bodies that I have mapped and labeled myself.
Tonight, I saw Mercury for the first time. Mercury is a hard planet to see, even though it is quite bright, because it's orbit is so close to the sun. The angle Mercury makes with the Earth and the Sun is never more than about 25 degrees and most of the time it is much less. As a result, you can't ever see Mercury during the night but at a couple of times in it's orbit you can see it at either dawn or dusk. Right now, Mercury is close to it's greatest eastern elongation and can be seen low in...
With the ever-evolving technology that imbues photography, we are never short of fantastic awe-inspiring shots. Digital cameras can capture things that the naked eye only wishes it could see, like streaking lights, rapid movements, and faraway objects, and it's fairly easy to capture these things if you know the basics.
When he's not taking orbital videos of Earth's auroras, NASA Astronaut Don Pettit is experimenting with water in zero gravity. He's already shown us how water droplets can orbit around knitting needles in a microgravity environment. Now he's playing with water again, this time—antibubbles.
Where would you end up if you dug a tunnel in your backyard straight through the Earth? If you live in the United States, you'd probably think that you'd end up somewhere in China. But despite what the hypothetical China Syndrome may have you believe, China is not the other side of the world.
I managed to take a few snapshots of the solar eclipse in the Malibu area, where it was just a partial. Just wanted to share a few. I've still got the same setup as when I took my supermoon pics, but hopefully one day I'll be able to get something bigger than my 105mm capabilities, something like Cory's awesome solar telescope (see his time-lapse of the annular)!
It's taken me several weeks to figure out the Meade Coronado SolarMax II 60 Double Stack telescope that I bought to produce a timelapse video of the solar eclipse but I'm pretty happy with the images I can produce now. Here's hoping for clear skies tomorrow!
This morning, NASA launched the five suborbital sounding rockets from Virginia as part of ATREX (Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment). Each rocket was launched 80 seconds apart and released chemical tracers that created "milky, white clouds at the edge of space." Now, I've seen plenty of bullet tracers in my life, but these are far more poetic. Take a look at the time-lapse video and see for yourself. Why shoot these tracer rockets? To help scientists "better understand the process responsi...
The Garradd comet has just about reached its absolute peak! By the way, I took those pictures below of the moon through my iPhone using an adapter. Pretty cool, right?
If you're into entomology, then you probably recognize the name E.L. Trouvelot. After all, he was the person responsible for the outbreak of invasive gypsy moths in North America, which are now one of the most destructive foliage-eating pests in the United States.