Posts Tagged ‘astronomy’

Why does the moon look so much bigger when it’s on the horizon?

February 4, 2020

The moon looks bigger when it’s on the horizon. Why? A New York Times video.

Related:

“What Is a Supermoon?” Elizabeth Howell, Space.com

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Martian Water

July 26, 2018

Martian Water

There’s a 12-mile-wide lake of liquid water a mile beneath the southern ice cap of Mars. The discovery was made using the Marsis radar instrument on board the European Space Agency’s Mars Express, which has been orbiting the red planet for 15 years. Thirsty astronauts shouldn’t expect instant refreshment, though. The lake is filled with salt water.

More:

“Mars: huge underground lake raises prospects of life on planet, astronomers say,” Ian Sample, The Guardian

“A 12-mile-wide body of water lies beneath a Mars ice cap,” Carolyn Y. Johnson, Washington Post

“Scientists detect giant underground aquifer on Mars, raising hope of life on the planet,” Loren Grush, The Verge

“Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed on Mars,” Mary Halton, BBC News

“Deep within Mars, Liquid Water Offers Hope for Life,” Lee Billings, Scientific American

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Equinox

March 20, 2018

Equinox

March 20th marks the Equinox, when day and night are of equal length. The March Equinox is often called the Spring or Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (where days will now get longer) and the Fall or Autumn Equinox in Southern latitudes (where days will start to shorten).

Okay, days still stay 24 hours long, it’s the periods of daylight that get longer and shorter. Come on, lighten up. The UN says March 20th is also the International Day of Happiness.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Equinox

March 20, 2017

Equinox

March 20, 2017 marks the Equinox, when day and night are of equal length. The March Equinox is often called the Spring or Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (where days will now get longer) and the Fall or Autumn Equinox in Southern latitudes (where days will start to shorten).

Okay, days still stay 24 hours long, it’s the periods of daylight that get longer and shorter. Come on, lighten up. The UN says March 20th is also the International Day of Happiness.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-plA

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Space Aliens Communicate With Earth. Maybe.

January 3, 2017

Space Aliens Communicate With Earth. Maybe.

“Two Canadian astronomers published a study that claims an anomaly in the pulsing of a group of stars is possibly evidence of an alien civilization. ….

The scientists Ermanno Borra and Éric Trottier from the Université Laval in Quebec analyzed modulations in 2.5 million stars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey project and concluded that 234 of them exhibited strange behavior. In fact, the stars seemed to be signaling, with the conceivable explanation that it’s aliens trying to make contact.”

— “Astronomers Detect Strange Star Signals That Are ‘Probably’ Aliens Making Contact,” Paul Ratner, Big Think

More:

“Either stars are strange, or there are 234 aliens trying to contact us,” Evan Gough, Universe Today via Phys.org

Download the paper here.

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Carl Sagan

August 13, 2016

“A literal reading of the Bible simply is a mistake; I mean it’s just wrong.”

Carl Sagan on October 4, 1985, as told to Studs Terkel. Animated by Patrick Smith for Blank on Blank (PBS Digital) and Quoted Studios. More of the interview here.

Carl Sagan Portal

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Comet Lander: It’s Alive!

June 15, 2015

Comet Lander: It's Alive!

The Philae device the European Space Agency landed on a comet has emerged from 7 months of hibernation and phoned home, sending a radio signal from Comet 67P. The ESA Rosetta Orbiter landed Philae after a 10 year space voyage, but the washing-machine-sized device bounced into a shadowed part of the comet’s surface and couldn’t recharge its solar cells until now.

More:

“European space probe, thought lost, awakes in comet’s shadows,” Thomas Atkins, Reuters

“ESA’s Philae comet lander wakes up after seven months of hibernation,” Sebastian Anthony, Ars Technica UK

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European Space Probe Lands on a Comet

November 12, 2014

European Space Probe Lands on a Comet

7 hours after Europe’s Rosetta orbiter launched Philae, a washing-machine-sized robot probe, it landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a big ball of ice and rock 314 million miles away and traveling through space at 34,000 miles an hour. The ESA probe will remain there transmitting data until August 2015 as the comet slowly melts from the heat of the sun.

The international space mission has been a long time in the making. Comet-chasing Rosetta was launched ten years ago. The scientific importance of the Rosetta mission cannot be over-estimated. Comets are frozen repositories of early stages of the solar system.

More:

“European Probe Makes Historic Comet Landing,” VOA News

“Comet-Chasing Spacecraft Lands Probe After 10 Year Flight,” Alex Morales, Bloomberg News

“Mankind Has Landed on a Comet,” Sarah Zhang, Gizmodo

“Touchdown! Rosetta’s Philae Probe Lands on Comet.” (ESA press release)

“The Rosetta comet mission cost half as much as the US midterm elections,” Joseph Stromberg, Vox

“Bill Nye on the Rosetta Comet Landing: ‘We’ll make discoveries that nobody’s imagined yet,'” Big Think

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Image (“Comet, after Charles Martin”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

India Reaches Mars

September 24, 2014

India Reaches Mars

India’s Mars Orbital Mission (MOM), the unmanned probe also known as Mangalyaan, launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on November 5th, and went into orbit around Mars last night. India’s project cost under $80.3 million, lots less than NASA’s $455 million Maven Mars probe.

(more…)

Equinox

March 20, 2014

Equinox

March 20, 2014 marks the Equinox, when day and night are of equal length. The March Equinox is often called the Spring or Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (where days will now get longer) and the Fall or Autumn Equinox in Southern latitudes (where days will shorten).

Okay, days still stay 24 hours long, it’s the periods of daylight that get longer and shorter. Come on, lighten up. The UN says March 20th is also the International Day of Happiness.

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Short Link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-j4P

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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