Astronomy 

What Does a Black Hole Look Like?

By Steven Spence (@TheStevenSpence) “We ordinary people might lack your great speed or your X-ray vision, Superman, but never underestimate the power of the human mind.” Mark Millar, Superman: Red Son As I write this article, the science community is eagerly awaiting the April 10 press conference of the Event Horizon Telescope. By the time you read this, there will probably be multiple press releases and articles depicting a “photograph” of a black hole [1]. Technically, this will not be entirely true, but it will be a representation of a black…

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Astronomy Chemistry 

Green Bank Telescope: Two Weeks as a Visiting Astronomer in the Quiet Zone

Pictured in the image above is the Jansky Laboratory, where scientific research is conducted at the Green Bank Observatory, with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in the background. The Jansky Lab is named for physicist and telephone engineer Karl Guthe Jansky, who in the 1930s first detected radio waves coming from the center of the Milky Way. By Olivia Wilkins Green Bank, West Virginia is known as “America’s Quietest Town”: there is no cell-phone service, and the use of wireless Internet, digital cameras, and even microwaves is heavily restricted. It…

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In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet -- a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for "scout" or "messenger" -- raised intriguing questions: Was it a chunk of rocky debris from a new star system, shredded material from a supernova explosion, evidence of alien technology or something else altogether? In this riveting talk, Meech tells the story of how her team raced against the clock to find answers about this unexpected gift from afar. This talk was presented at an official TED conference Astronomy 

Oumuamua: Asteroid from Another Star System

In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet — a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger” — raised intriguing questions: Was it a chunk of rocky debris from a new star system, shredded material from a supernova explosion, evidence of alien technology or something else altogether? In this riveting talk, Meech tells the story of how her team raced against the clock to find…

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What’s Jupiter Hiding? Astronomy Technology 

What’s Jupiter Hiding?

By Steven Spence @TheStevenSpence Juno: Aptly named The Juno spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter is appropriately named. In Roman mythology, Jupiter created a veil of clouds to hide his escapades with Io from his wife, Juno, but Juno was able to peer through the clouds and foil his plan. The Juno spacecraft, currently on its 11th science orbit[1] of Jupiter, is designed to see through Jupiter’s clouds, revealing secrets of the planet’s atmosphere and interior. Boldly going on a five-year mission Juno launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral aboard…

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Astronomy Book Reviews What We're Reading 

Book: See it with a Small Telescope

Take an adventure through the universe through the lens of your telescope! Author Will Kalif tells us about his book, See it with a Small Telescope. Title: See It With a Small Telescope: 101 Cosmic Wonders, Including Planets, Moons, Comets, Galaxies, Nebulae, Star Clusters, and More  Author: Will Kalif  Publisher: Ulysses Press Best for: Astronomy buffs, telescope owners, and readers interested in popular science and space.  The night sky is a deep, rich field of stars. Under normal dark sky conditions, when there is a new moon, there are approximately…

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