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.
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.
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.
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.
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 woke up at 4:00 am this morning in order to take some video of the last total lunar eclipse visible from North America till 2014. The eclipse was beautiful. It was amazing to watch the shadow of our planet creep slowly across our nearest neighbor. Once the shadow was blocking out most of the light from the sun, the moon was significantly dimmer and the color had changed to a reddish orange. This color is caused by the same effect that makes our sunrises and sunsets so colorful. The light fr...
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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...
Right now, Jupiter and Venus are rising in the early morning hours just before dawn. I went outside on the morning of the 4th of July and saw Jupiter and Venus right next to each other with the Pleiades (The Seven Sisters) just above them and knew that the next morning I was going to have to get up early and set up my tripod to try and capture what I saw. I used my Panasonic GH2 with the stock zoom lens set to about 40 to 50 mm equivalent and with the aperture open to about f/5. I set my ISO ...
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.
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?
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...
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.
Last night was the so called "Supermoon," where the moon was at perigee, which is the closest orbital point to the Earth while the moon was in full phase. This makes the moon appear larger by up to about 14% and brighter by up to around 30%. I went out and used my 5-inch refracting telescope to take several pictures.
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.
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!
Are you a big astronomy enthusiast? Do you have some amazing astrophotography pictures you'd like to share? If so, become a contributor over here at Astronomy World! We are looking for new moderators, along with contributors, to post pictures and videos, write tutorials and astronomy-related news articles, and even share updates on how your observing went!
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...
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?
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...
Note: This shower is only visible in the Northern Hemisphere. The Quadrantid meteor shower is one of my personal favorites, mainly because of the amount of meteors it produces. You can sight more than 100 meteors per hour- that's more than 1 meter per minute. Even though that doesn't sound like much, it will make your observing experience much more exciting. The peak is short, typically lasting no more than an hour or so. It is more easily observed on the fourth, with its peak at 1:00 AM EST.
Explore the night sky on your iOS device, or better yet, in the third dimension on a 3D TV. More information here and here.
There is many different types of stars in the universe. Majority of them are red dwarf stars. However, there are plenty of stars like ordinary stars (like our sun), red giants, blue stars and etc. Furthermore, when you look in the night sky, we see a lot of small and bright stars. What people don't know is that there are stars that are not even completely understood by astronomers and scientists.
Video: . Extraterrestrial life is life that does not originate from Earth. It is also called alien life, or, if it is a sentient and/or relatively complex individual, an "extraterrestrial" or "alien" (or, to avoid confusion with the legal sense of "alien," a "space alien"). These as yet hypothetical forms of life range from simple bacteria-like organisms to beings far more complex than humans. The possibility that viruses might exist extraterrestrially has also been proposed.
Earlier today, a meteorite flew over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, triggering a shock wave that injured hundreds of people and caused damage to buildings and vehicles in the area. Witnesses describe seeing a bright ball of light streak through the sky followed by a loud boom as the 10-ton meteorite entered the Earth's atmosphere and exploded.
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...
There's nothing more inherently awesome than looking up into the stars and wondering WTF is really out there. Outer space is one of those rare items that a Google search cannot provide all of the answers for.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...