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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
NASA will be attempting to land the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars tonight, and you can watch it live. Curiosity (the Mars Science Laboratory) was launched almost a year ago on November 26, 2011, and will be finishing its 354 million mile journey to the red planet tonight (Sunday, August 5th) at around 8:30pm PST. The craft will be deploying a supersonic parachute to slow itself, as it will be traveling at upwards of 1,000 mph. The show's not over though, as the first images from the ...
The International Space Station is a habitable man-made satellite currently in orbit around the Earth. Launched in 1998, the ISS is used mainly as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory where astronauts perform experiments in large variety of fields, including biology and physics. In order to be hospitable for crew members and scientists, the ISS needs energy. To do this, the station uses its solar panels to capture rays of sun and power the station up. In order to garner th...
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.
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.
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).
Hello! I invite all the readers, interested in space, to discover the origin of the names of the planets in our galaxy. Just simply follow my words,... Step 1: Planets and Stars
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!
In 2006, everything that revolved around my world shattered into tiny pieces as I learned that scientists had decided to rescind Pluto's planetary status. Given the ol' Jeff Probst treatment, Pluto was officially voted off our solar system in the blink of an eye, leaving us with only eight planets and a whole load of useless textbooks. The primary reason that Pluto was demoted down to a "dwarf planet" was due to Pluto's largest moon, Charon, being about half the size of Pluto; all the other p...
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.
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.
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 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.
Get ready to look up in the night sky very soon, because you're in for a real treat. There will be a total lunar eclipse on the night of Monday, April 14th, and folks living in the United States, Canada, and parts of Central and South America will be able to see the moon turn a dark blood-red shade for a little over an hour. This will be the first in a series of four total eclipses that are to happen over the next two years. What Is a Blood Moon?
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...
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.
My attempt at real astrophotography. The two bright nebula are M 42 and M 43 located in Orion's Sword. I took about 20 images at ISO 800 and 1.6 second exposures using a 300 mm lens and stacked them in Photoshop after repositioning them because of the movement of the sky. This is cropped in just a tiny bit.
This week, there's a lot going on in the skies above, with at least one event per day! There's also an equinox, which only occurs about twice a year!
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...
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)!
The annular solar eclipse was amazing. It was so much fun watching the sun transform from a thin crescent to a ring and then to a thin crescent going the other direction. I'll be posting up the pictures used to make this video in various resolutions on my photography website over the next few days, all of the way up to the full 16 megapixel ultra-detailed images.
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.
Explore the night sky on your iOS device, or better yet, in the third dimension on a 3D TV. More information here and here.
As a kid, I was always interested in what was beyond our world. I remember lying down on the top of my dad's car and watching the stars for hour, gleefully excited whenever a shooting star streaked across the night sky.
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.
Later today, an asteroid the size of a city block (about 3,000 feet wide) called 2002 AM31 will fly by the Earth. It will still be about 3.2 million miles away, so there's nothing to be worried about, but you can watch it make its journey in real-time online. 2000 AM31 now, as seen from the JPL Small-Body Database Browser
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...
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.
Went outside tonight to see a 22 degree halo around the moon. Took a long exposure shot of it to bring out some of the color. Jupiter is to the right and Orion is to the left.
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.