Tag - astronomy
March 13, 2013
Grab your camera and a snack, the night sky will put on a spectacular show throughout March.
The comet, Pan-STARRS is visible without a telescope and will make regular appearances in the Northern Hemisphere throughout the month. It was named after the Hawaiian telescope (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) where it was discovered in 2011.
It is believed that it will take more than 100 million years to make a single orbit around the sun.
Officially known as C/2011 L4, Pan-STARRS has brightened as the sun’s hot wind melts it, forming a long tail. On March 5th, it traveled its closest to Earth, getting about as close to our planet as the distance between us and the sun.
Pan-STARRS made its first appearance in the Northern Hemisphere on March 7th, but has been difficult to spot due to its low position in the sky. As of March 12th, the comet’s position is higher and the thin, dark crescent moon will help.
It will be visible in the night sky into April.
How to See the Comet
Pan-STARRS will be visible
May 17, 2012
By Blog Editor, Susan Wells
Don’t fear the werewolves and vampires this weekend. An annular eclipse will make it’s way across the western United States.
This Sunday, May 20th in the late afternoon, an annular eclipse of the sun will be visible to the United States and a narrow path across the northern Hemisphere. A partial eclipse will be visible in East Asia, the North Pacific, North America and Greenland.
Solar eclipses happen all over the globe all the time, but this will be the first in the continental U.S. in more than 18 years.
An annular eclipse is a “ring of fire” solar eclipse. A total eclipse is when the moon’s shadow completely covers the sun and makes it dark during the day. This eclipse will cover about 85% of the sun leaving a visible ring.
If you want to see it, set a reminder, because it won’t last long. The eclipse will be visible first along Oregon and northern California at 1:23 p.m. local time. It will last 4 1/2 minutes as it tracks across the U.S. to Redding, CA, to Central Nevada, southern Utah
November 8, 2011
We aren’t on the verge of Armageddon and no we won’t need Bruce Willis’ services, but brace yourselves, a large asteroid is on its way to Earth and will come within 201,000 miles of our planet.
The large asteroid, appropriately named 2005 YU55, is on its way to pass by the earth at 6:28 p.m. EST, Tuesday, November 8th. It will be visible in the northern hemisphere and won’t be seen by the naked eye. It will also be too fast for the Hubble Space Telescope to spot it.
Thousands of professional and amateur astronomers are poised and ready to watch the asteroid as it passes by. It will give scientists an opportunity to study the asteroid without having to launch a probe.
These celestial events where objects pass closely to the earth are only expected to occur a few times a century.
It’s the first time since 1976 that an object this large has come this close to Earth. During that time, no
May 12, 2008
Someday you might be invited to compete on Jepoardy and you’ll thank our trust blog contributors for this nerdy information. Did you know that a musician named Gustav Holst was so fascinated by astronomy that he wrote several pieces of classical music about planets? In fact, he wrote music for all of the planets except Earth and Pluto. Why was Pluto excluded? Holst wrote The Planets in 1918, before Pluto was discovered!
Remember, the planets were all named for ancient gods and goddesses, so when it was time for Holst to title his music about the planets, he chose titles that reminded people of the god or goddess for whom the planet was named.
Mars, the Bringer of War; Venus, the Bringer of Peace; Mercury, the Winged Messenger; Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity; Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age; Uranus, the Magician; and Neptune, the Mystic.
Want a little preview? Here’s Holst’s Mars: Bringer of War, by Gustav Holst